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Teacher Courses

Our courses for teachers are intended to encourage and support excellent teaching of mathematics. The courses are led by highly experienced instructors recognized for their record of outstanding teaching. All courses address both content and methods, and include a wealth of problems and examples. The sessions combine lecture, workshop, and interactive classroom discussion.

To subscribe to announcements about teacher courses, see our contact page.

Spring 2014   top

Math Enrichment for Math Enthusiasts, Course 1   (Register)

When: Tuesdays 5 - 7pm, February 4 - March 11, 2014.
2/4, 2/11, 2/18, 2/25, 3/4, 3/11.
Where: Stuyvesant High School, 345 Chambers Street, New York, NY (map). Room 403.
Instructor: Gil Kessler.
Registration fee: $95.

When can 4 different Fibonacci numbers be the sides of a quadrilateral? What are the two smallest integer-sided triangles that agree in 5 parts [sides, angles], yet are not congruent? Ever prove things using “Mass Points”?

Gil Kessler will conduct a 5-session course for high school and middle school math teachers interested in adding to their collection of ideas, problems, and puzzles for themselves and their students. The material can be used to enrich lessons and homeworks, as well as challenge math team members. The presentation will be at a level accessible to all, with content ranging from easy to impossible [just kidding!], but always enjoyable.

[This course is independent of any other enrichment courses.]

An Invitation to the ARML - NYSML Experience   (Register)

When: Saturday 1pm - 4pm, March 8, 2014.
Snacks will be provided. Feel free to bring your lunch.
Where: NYU Courant Institute, 251 Mercer St (map). Room 101.
Instructor: Larry Zimmerman.
Fee: None!

Consider this a preview of a multi-session course that is in the works. This course will bring together high school students and high school math teachers to familiarize them with all aspects of the ARML and NYSML events, including team building, proof writing, special types of problems, and so forth.

One of the many goals is to create opportunities for more people to get involved as participants, coaches, assistants, and other roles. This initial meeting will be hosted by Larry Zimmerman, and will open the floor to suggestions and comments, which may be helpful in shaping the architecture of the actual course.

Interesting Problems of Choice and Chance (Canceled)

When: Thursdays 5 - 7pm, March 13 - April 10, 2014.
Namely:   3/13, 3/20, 3/27, 4/3, 4/10.
Where: NYU Courant Institute, 251 Mercer St (map). Room 312.
Instructor: Henry Ricardo.
Registration fee: $75.
This mini-course will be rescheduled. Subscribe to our email list for updates.

Originating from 16th and 17th century questions concerning games of chance, probability theory has generated many interesting and challenging problems and has been responsible for significant applications. With appropriate reviews of basic combinatorial principles and fundamental results of probability, we will discuss famous examples in this four-part mini-course, such as the Buffon Needle Problem, the Birthday Problem, and the Monty Hall Problem, as well as many unnamed gems of discrete and continuous probabilistic reasoning.

Sample Problems:

  1. If a stick of length x is broken into three pieces, what is the probability that the three pieces can be used to construct a triangle?
  2. Tom and Dick tell the truth only a third of the time. Tom makes a statement and Dick tells us that Tom was speaking the truth. What is the probability that Tom was actually telling the truth?
  3. Suppose you return n homework assignments to your n students. What is the probability that no student gets back his or her own assignment?
  4. Suppose you are waiting at a street corner where you could take either of two different buses, both running independently at 10-minute intervals. How long would you expect to wait for a bus?

Math Team for Teachers - Part II   (Register)

When: Saturdays 10am - 4pm, May 3 and 10.
Lunches will be provided.
Where: NYU Courant Institute, 251 Mercer St (map). Room 201.
Instructor: Larry Zimmerman.
Registration fee: $135.

Math Team for Teachers - part II is intended as a natural follow-up to Math Team for Teachers - Part I, although it is independent and would be suitable for anyone who has a very deep enjoyment of problem solving (and problem posing). Much will drawn from the many problem sets handed out in the previous sessions (additional sets will be available, of course) as well as a lot of new and novel items.

Problems will be explored, solved, extended, developed, varied and serve as pathways to special topics and techniques. Essentially, our sessions will be Problem Solving Seminars and will not focus so much on the organizational aspects of Math Team as was the case in the previous course.

The registration fee covers both sessions, and lunch on both days.

NYMC Teachers' Math Circle   (Register)

When: Selected Mondays (TBA) in Spring 2014, 5pm - 7pm
Where: NYU Courant Institute, 251 Mercer St (map). Room 202.
Fee: None! But we welcome contributions to cover dinner costs

In this series of informal talks, teachers are invited to discuss mathematics, work on problems, and have dinner together. If you are interested in attending any talk in the series, please register (for free) using the link above. We'll send you reminders in advance.

Each session includes a mathematical presentation by an invited speaker and a catered dinner (free, but we welcome contributions to cover dinner costs). Topics are selected for their mathematical content, which are of interest to high school or middle school math teachers, and participants receive a handout of interesting problems and other information that is relevant to the talk. If you'd like to give a talk or suggest a speaker, please email info@nymathcircle.org.

Scheduled Talks

  • The Art of Mathematical Modeling: Developing Intuition for Real World Problem Solving by Dr. Lisa Rogers, Applied Mathematician. Monday, March 31.

    Math Modeling Handout and Math Model Algorithm

    All problems, from the everyday mundane to the most complex dynamical systems, can be solved with the use of mathematical intuition and logic. The key to problem solving is the a method that is familiar to mathematicians - reduction of a problem into a simpler form that we know how to solve, and building from there. My years of experience working with students of various disciplines on modeling problems has helped me to develop the Algorithm for Constructing a Mathematical Model, a clever reinterpretation of the scientific method specific to quantitative analysis. The key to efficient, creative problem solving is organization and logic, as well as the ability to quantify even the most minute of details. Scientists and future scientists alike require the ability to observe a problem from various perspectives and with varying levels of detail in order to develop accurate, all-encompassing solutions. In this talk, we’ll discuss the Algorithm for Constructing a Mathematical Model, and how to apply it to a wide range of problems. I will also highlight the importance of developing student ability to communicate mathematical/scientific ideas effectively to scientists and non-scientists alike.

  • Transfinite Numbers by Marty Rudolph, Ret. math teacher. Monday, April 7.

    Transfinite Numbers Handout

    How large is "large?" Is infinity the largest number? Consider the following argument between two children in the 1950s:
    1: I dare you.
    2: I double dare you.
    1: I triple dare you.
    2: I dare you times a million (said with a smirk)
    1: I dare you times infinity (with finality)
    2: I dare you times infinity plus one!!! (uh oh)
    (Of course, in the film A Christmas Story, they all lose to a “double dog dare.”) This sample lesson (for teachers) is most appropriate for juniors-seniors in a precalculus class in high school. However, a wider range of students could easily enjoy and learn from it.

  • The Art of Teaching Math in Grades 1–4 by Yakov Kamenyar, Math 21. Monday, April 28.

    The art of teaching math is all about how to teach. For expert knowledge, it is useful to compare teaching styles at the international level. While the basic characteristics of expert teaching are clearly visible; catching the nuances is a challenging task. In this talk we will highlight some fine techniques of Russian math education, explained in the context of typical math problems at the elementary level.

  • The Mathematical Puzzles of Literature by Elisabeth Jaffe, Baruch College Campus High School. Monday, May 12.

    Mathematics possesses an inherent beauty that our students often don’t see. In this talk we will explore the poetry of mathematics introduced in literature. We will find ways to show our students that mathematics is an art. It is not simply about finding a correct answer, but it is about exploring our own creative minds. We will specifically address the mathematical puzzle introduced in The Lottery by Shirley Jackson and the numerical surprises introduced in The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa. We will look at books around which we can create lessons and/or projects to inspire our students and ourselves to look beyond the one answer.

  • Challenging Geometry Problems for Lower Middle School students by Mila Martynovsky, New York Math Circle. Monday, May 19.

    This session is for anyone with an interest in mathematical problem-solving for lower middle school students. Participants will enjoy a set of non-routine problems involving complex geometrical figures, designed to stimulate scholars to explore familiar concepts from an unusual angle or point of view. Useful as a supplement to a basic mathematics curriculum, these problems lead to further explorations on specific topics and are intended to develop problem-solving techniques. Detailed solutions, hints, and specific answers for all problems will be provided.

Past Courses

We had our first full course for teachers in Spring 2008. You can see the listing of past courses here.