Math Circles began a generation ago in Eastern Europe, originally for high school students. Their purpose isn’t to cover topics in the usual algebra through calculus sequence, but instead to instill passion for math by presenting advanced math topics that a student would typically not see, topics that hint at what math looks like to a mathematician. Or more radically, as I have told some of my students, “What you think math is, is not math.”
This Session:I teach three Math Circle classes at Jefferson, Berkeley Arts Magnet, and Malcolm X schools. We will cover four new topics:
– constructions with compass and straightedge, hopefully rediscovering the beginning of Euclid’s geometry
– some math behind Braille + graphing our learning
– making and solving Soma Cube puzzles
– playing and understanding the game of Set
I’m excited to be doing two topics that get at spatial reasoning, as research indicates that girls especially can use more experience with this — and we’ll even have a tactile dimension with our Braille.