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“I thought this whole thing was EXTREMELY organized which was nice. It was clear a lot of effort was put into the organization.”

Past Teacher Courses

Fall 2013   top

More Enrichment, Course 3

When: Tuesdays 5 - 7pm, December 3 - 17, 2013.
Where: Stuyvesant High School, 345 Chambers Street, New York, NY (map). Room tba.
Instructor: Gil Kessler.

Can you find y if 3[y]2 - 7[y] + 2 = 0 and 4y is a prime (brackets represent “the greatest integer function”)? What is the sum of the first 212 terms of 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 3, 3, 1, ... (the sequence consists of consecutive terms of Pascal’s Triangle)?

Gil Kessler will conduct a 3-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. We will discuss some series, problems that each involve multiple concepts (including Morley’s Theorem), and a variety of odd facts and puzzles. The presentation will be at a level accessible to all, with content ranging from easy to amazing, and always enjoyable.

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

NYMC Teachers' Math Circle

When: Selected Mondays in October, November, & December 2013, 5pm - 7pm
Where: NYU Courant Institute, 251 Mercer St (map). Room 512.

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

  • Jim and Nim by Japheth Wood, New York Math Circle. Monday, October 21.

    Jim and Nim Handout

    Nim is an impartial combinatorial game with a long history and a rich mathematical theory. Jim (short for Japheth's Nim) is also an impartial combinatorial game that was invented by the speaker in 2011 while jogging around Prospect Park! Participants will learn to play both Nim and Jim, and develop strategies that lead to a full understanding of the mathematical theory of both games.

  • Geometric Probability: An Appetizer by Henry Ricardo, New York Math Circle. Monday, October 28.

    Geometric Probability Slides and Geometric Probability Notes

    An introduction to the idea of Geometric Probability with discussion focused on some carefully-chosen examples, both ordinary and famous. This Teachers' Math Circle session also serves as a preview of Henry's mini-course Interesting Problems of Choice and Chance.

  • Euler's Formula by Kovan Pillai, Taprobane LLC. Monday, November 4.

    Euler's Formula Handout

    Of the many formulas Euler discovered, one of the most admired is

    e = cos⁡θ + i sin⁡θ.
    The formula provides an elegant method for evaluating complicated integrals and summing series; it also provides an elegant proof of De Moivre’s Theorem and can be used to derive many trigonometric formulas. Distinguished theoretical physicist Richard Feynman described it as “one of the most remarkable, almost astonishing, formulas in all of mathematics”. Euler's formula will be derived, and participants will solve challenging problems.

  • Investigating the Mathematics of Sona: Sand Drawings from Angola by Paul Ellis, Manhattanville College and Westchester Area Math Circle. Monday, November 18.

    The Mathematics of Sona Handout

    The Chokwe people of central Africa make a curious sand drawing called Sona. At first glance, these seem like simple drawings, but the more we look, the more we see some beautiful mathematical properties.

  • The Mathematics of Friday the 13th, by Sheila Krilov, Hunter College HS. Monday, December 9.

    Friday the Thirteenth Slides and Friday the Thirteenth Handout

    Does every year contain a Friday the thirteenth?, What is the maximum number of Friday the thirteenths in a year? These questions and more will be answered, just in time for you to deliver the answers to your students, on Friday the 13th! This talk is appropriate for both middle school and high school classrooms. [No need for Triskaidekaphobia!]

  • Shapes and Numbers, by Alex Belopolsky, Enlightenment Research. Monday, December 16.

    Shapes and Numbers Handout

    A series of problems that appear to be algebraic or arithmetic, but benefit from a reformulation in geometrical terms.


Summer 2013   top

Summer Workshop 2013

When: July 29 - August 2, 2013
Where: Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY (map).
Accommodations: Will be provided.
Audience: Middle School Mathematics Teachers.
Theme: Volume and Surface Area

Join us this summer for our 5th annual workshop for middle school math teachers. The mathematical theme is Volume and Surface Area, which we will approach as learners, educators, and mathematicians. We offer collaborative problem sessions each morning, followed in the afternoons by enriching extension talks and seminars, all led by NY Math Circle instructors and Bard math professors. Participants will enjoy the backdrop of Bard College’s Annandale-on-Hudson campus, complete with its summer arts offerings.

We will address the following questions, and more:

How are surface area and volume defined, and what are the connections between them?

How are volume and surface area formulas (such as for prisms, cones, and spheres) established?

What is the history of the subject, from Euclid and Archimedes to the modern day?

What are some challenging (yet accessible) problems, as well hands-on math activities that will inspire our students and enrich our math classrooms?

Accommodations are provided. Graduate credit is available.


Spring 2013   top

The Amazing Polly Nomial and Friends

When: Thursdays 5 - 7pm, April 11 - May 2, 2013.
Where: NYU Courant Institute, 251 Mercer St (map). Room 201.
Instructor: Henry Ricardo.

Polynomials are the familiar workhorses of algebra, precalculus, and calculus courses and they show their utility in more advanced areas of algebra and analysis as well. In this course we will explore the interesting and appealing world of polynomials and their connections to number theory, algebra, analysis, geometry, and probability. There will be a mix of theory and applications, using basic algebra as well as some tools from elementary calculus. Here are some samples from Henry's extensive cache of examples and problems:

  1. The polynomial n2 + n + 41 yields distinct primes for n = 1, 2, …, 39. [Euler, 1772]
  2. Let f be a polynomial of degree n such that f(k) = k/(k+1) for k = 1, 2, …, n Find f(n+1).
  3. Consider the equation x2 + Ax + B = 0. Let constants A and B be chosen independently with the uniform distribution on the interval [0,1]. Calculate the probability that the equation has real roots.
  4. Find all real polynomials f(x) satisfying the equation f(x2) = f(x) f(x-1).

Math Team for Teachers

When: Saturdays 10am - 4pm, May 11 and 18, 2013.
Lunches will be provided.
Where: NYU Courant Institute, 251 Mercer St (map). Room 512.
Instructor: Larry Zimmerman.

This mini course is designed for teachers who intend to coach/advise a Math Team, a Math Club, or a related extracurricular activity. It can also be taken by those who simply enjoy doing mathematics and solving Math Team type questions. Participants will learn how to conduct a Math Team, become acquainted with many different types of Math competitions, and get to know many of the sources and resources that are available.

Some mathematical topics essential for Math Team will be presented, accompanied by a wealth of examples. We will examine ways of creating original problems to aid in the development of appropriate, effective practice materials. Techniques for training students, motivational devices, and philosophy of the Math Team experience will be addressed. Appreciation of problem solving is, of course, a key component. Special emphasis is placed upon potential for student growth as a consequence of Math Team.

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

Math & Dinner

When: Various Thursdays 5pm - 7pm (followed by dinner)
Where: NYU Courant Institute, 251 Mercer St (map). Room 201.

Not a course! Just informal gatherings for teachers, to discuss some mathematics, work on some problems, and have dinner together. If you are interested in any talk in the series, please register (for free) using the link above, so that we know the level of interest.

  • May 23, 5pm. "A Taste of Celestial Navigation" by Dmitry Sagalovskiy, New York Math Circle.

    Celestial Navigation Handout

    It is fascinating that by looking at the sky, you can figure out your latitude and longitude on Earth. Celestial navigation relies on spherical trigonometry, a beautiful branch of mathematics, which was important throughout history until the advent of GPS hid it from public view. In this brief tour, we will try using a sextant, and discuss the mathematics of converting its measurement into a location on Earth. We will discuss measurements and coordinates on a sphere, and delve into some spherical geometry and trigonometry. Fun problems and puzzles related to the mathematics of the Earth will be provided.

  • June 6, 5pm. "The Stretched Chords Problem" by Ben Blum-Smith, Graduate Student at NYU-Courant Institute, and Japheth Wood, New York Math Circle

    Stretched Chords Handout

    In July 2010, teacher participants at the Park City Math Institute (PCMI) encountered the following haunting problem: Put n evenly spaced points on the unit circle, with one point at (1,0). Then draw chords from this point to all the other points. Then multiply the chords’ lengths. What do you get? We will discuss this classic problem and the even-more-shocking extension, which we call the Stretched Chords Problem: Scale the circle vertically by a factor of √5. Scale all the chords too. What is the product of the lengths now?

Math Enrichment, Course 1

When: Tuesdays 5 - 7pm, February 5 - March 12, 2013.
Where: Stuyvesant High School, 345 Chambers Street, New York, NY (map). Room 401.
Instructor: Gil Kessler.

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.

[Courses in our enrichment series don't overlap material. We recommend you take them all (in any order) for greatest enjoyment.]

A minimum of 10 participants are required to run this course.


Fall 2012   top

More Enrichment, Course 3

When: Wednesdays 4:20 - 6:20pm, December 5 - 19, 2012
Where: NYU Courant Institute, 251 Mercer St (map). Room 201.
Instructor: Gil Kessler.

Can you find y if 3[y]2 - 7[y] + 2 = 0 and 4y is a prime (brackets represent “the greatest integer function”)? What is the sum of the first 212 terms of 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 3, 3, 1, ... (the sequence consists of consecutive terms of Pascal’s Triangle)?

Gil Kessler will conduct a 3-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. We will discuss Mathematical Induction and Series, problems that each involve multiple concepts (including Morley’s Theorem), and a variety of odd facts and puzzles. The presentation will be at a level accessible to all, with content ranging from easy to amazing, and always enjoyable.

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

Are You Series?

When: Tuesdays 5 - 7pm, October 9 - 30, 2012
Where: The Dalton School, 108 East 89th Street (map). Room 503.
Instructor: Henry Ricardo.

Explore a potpourri of sequences, a gallimaufry of series in Henry Ricardo’s minicourse. Among the topics to be discussed are Farey sequences, recursive sequences, Fibonacci numbers, sequences and series related to e, the harmonic series, telescoping series and products, and Riemann sums. Examples and problems will come from algebra, geometry, set theory, calculus, and number theory. The emphasis will be on precalculus methods, although Calculus Lite will be invoked from time to time.


Summer 2012   top

Summer Workshop 2012

When: July 30 - August 3, 2012
Where: Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY (map).
Accommodations: Will be provided.
Audience: Middle School Mathematics Teachers.
Theme: Math Enrichment at All Levels.

Join us this summer for another week-long residential program of stimulating workshops and activities led by New York Math Circle instructors and Bard Math professors. This summer features math enrichment for middle school math teachers at all levels.

Share in the rich environment of creative and insightful mathematical problem solving with other interested colleagues. All that is required is a strong interest in Mathematics. Accommodations are provided. Graduate credit is available.


Spring 2012   top

Math & Dinner

When: Various Tuesdays 5pm - 7pm (followed by dinner), starting March 27.
Where: NYU Courant Institute, 251 Mercer St (map). Room 312.

Not a course! Just informal gatherings for teachers, to discuss some mathematics, work on some problems, and have dinner together. If you are interested in any talk in the series, please register (for free) using the link above, so that we know the level of interest. More talks will be added shortly.

  • March 27, 5pm. "Exploring coin flipping and probabilities" by Larry Guth, Professor at NYU's Courant Institute.

    Coin Flipping Exploration Handout

    Suppose that one student flips a coin a thousand times and writes down the sequence of heads and tails, let's say an H for each head and a T for each tail. The sequence might start THHT... Now suppose that another student just writes down a sequence of a thousand Hs and Ts. The second student doesn't flip any coin, but they try their best to imitate a coin. We are shown these two sequences of Hs and Ts. Do we have any hope of distinguishing the real coin from the human imitation? Starting from here, we'll discuss various issues about coin-flipping and probabilities.

  • April 3, 5pm. "The Infinitude of the Primes - Proofs from THE BOOK" by Shaun Ault, Fordham University.

    This talk highlights five branches of Mathematics: Geometry, Group Theory, Number Theory, Analysis, and Topology, by using techniques of each to prove that there are infinitely many prime numbers. The proofs are based on five of the six proofs found in Aigner and Ziegler's Proofs from THE BOOK. This talk is intended for an audience familiar with lower-level undergraduate mathematics. It is independent of, though related to, the upcoming Museum of Math talk on "Proofs from THE BOOK." In particular, proofs will be discussed in detail. Questions are welcomed!

  • May 15, 5pm. "A Question of Definition" by Ted Diament.

    Mathematics contains many fascinating definitions that capture core insights, some of which took centuries to clarify. We will explore some of my favorite definitions, and I will try to make the case that exploring definitions in the classroom can help build confidence and be, in itself, highly thought-provoking.

  • May 29, 5pm. "Exploring Projectile Motion - with TI-Nspire CAS Graphing Calculator" by Lyubomir Detchkov, Evanthia Basias & Sheila Krilov, Hunter College High School.

    Location: Hunter College High School

    Come explore the TI-Inspire as we delve into projectile motion! This session will be held at Hunter College High School and is an exciting opportunity to hear a wonderful presentation and try out some new classroom technology!

  • CANCELLED June 12, 5pm. "The Stretched Chords Problem" by Ben Blum-Smith and Japheth Wood.

    Japheth Wood and Ben Blum-Smith will present their talk during the fall semester instead, so stay tuned for information about our fall teacher programming!

More Enrichment for Math Enthusiasts, Course 1

When: Tuesdays 5 - 7pm, Feb 28 - March 20, 2012.
Where: NYU Courant Institute, 251 Mercer St (map). Room 312.
Instructor: Gil Kessler.

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 4-session course extracted from the one he gave in February 2011. It is 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.]

The Joy of Inequalities

When: Tuesdays 5 - 7pm, Apr 17 - May 8, 2012.
Where: NYU Courant Institute, 251 Mercer St (map). Room 312.
Instructor: Henry Ricardo.

Join Henry Ricardo on a 4-session excursion through the marvelous world of mathematical inequalities.

Despite being a rich and important subject, the topic of inequalities doesn’t fit neatly into any of the conventional areas of mathematics and so the systematic study of inequalities has been neglected in traditional high school, college, and graduate curricula.

Come explore the classical inequalities, as well as other useful results that appear frequently in mathematical competitions and in the problem sections of mathematical journals. We will discuss history, proofs, and problem solving strategies and demonstrate connections to geometry, linear algebra, and calculus, among other areas. Participants will share in Professor Ricardo's treasure-trove of examples and have opportunities for hands-on problem solving.

Math Team for Teachers

When: Saturdays 10am - 4pm, March 3 and March 10, 2012.
Lunches will be provided.
Where: NYU Courant Institute, 251 Mercer St (map). Room 201.
Instructor: Larry Zimmerman.

This mini course is designed for teachers who intend to coach/advise a Math Team, a Math Club, or a related extracurricular activity. It can also be taken by those who simply enjoy doing mathematics and solving Math Team type questions. Participants will learn how to conduct a Math Team, become acquainted with many different types of Math competitions, and get to know many of the sources and resources that are available

Some mathematical topics essential for Math Team will be presented, accompanied by a wealth of examples. We will examine ways of creating original problems to aid in the development of appropriate, effective practice materials. Techniques for training students, motivational devices, and philosophy of the Math Team experience will be addressed. Appreciation of problem solving is, of course, a key component. Special emphasis is placed upon potential for student growth as a consequence of Math Team.

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


Fall 2011   top

More Enrichment, Course 2

When: Tuesdays 5 - 7pm, Dec 6 - 20, 2011.
Where: NYU Courant Institute, 251 Mercer St (map). Room 1314.
Instructor: Gil Kessler.

Given 6 points, can you connect each pair with a red or blue string, yet form no “monochromatic” triangles (whose vertices are from those points)? For what acute angle x does 8 sinx cosx cos2x cos4x = 1? A (right circular) cylindrical hole is drilled directly through the center of a sphere; if the height of the cylinder is 6”, what is the volume of sphere remaining?

Gil Kessler will conduct a 3-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 previous enrichment courses, all are welcome.


Summer 2011   top

Summer Workshop 2011

When: July 25-29, 2011
Where: Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY (map).
Accommodations: Will be provided.
Audience: Middle and High School Mathematics Teachers.
Theme: Optimization and Inequalities.

Join us at Bard this summer for a week-long residential program focused on the investigation of inequalities and optimization. Enjoy an environment of creative and insightful mathematical problem solving for middle school and high school math teachers who wish to deepen their mathematical understanding. No prior experience with inequalities required, just an interest in doing mathematics in a community of teachers. Workshops and activities led by NYMC instructors and Bard math professors.


Spring 2011   top

Math & Dinner: Euler and Quadratic Reciprocity

When: Wednesdays 5pm - 7pm, on 5/4 and 5/11.
Where: NYU Courant Institute, 251 Mercer St (map). Room 317.
Instructor: Jacob Brandler.

Math & Dinner sessions are gatherings for teachers, to discuss some mathematics, work on some problems, and have dinner together. This pair of sessions is free, but please register using the link above, so that we know how many people to expect.

Gauss said "Mathematics is the queen of the sciences and number theory is the queen of mathematics." To take it further, quadratic forms would be the queen's crown, with quadratic reciprocity the crown jewel. A major area of research for many mathematicians, notable contributors included Fermat, Euler, Legendre, and Gauss. Gauss referred to quadratic reciprocity as the "golden theorem".

This two-session mini-course will take you on an introductory incursion into this classical area of the theory of numbers. The goal is to motivate from an historical perspective the theory of binary quadratic forms as developed by Fermat, Euler, Legendre, and Gauss. We will present the highlights of the more elementary portions of the theory, including quadratic reciprocity, in order to whet the appetites of those who wish to pursue more deeply this still lively area of mathematics.

More Enrichment for Math Enthusiasts

When: Tuesdays 5 - 7pm, Feb 8 - March 22, 2011.
Where: NYU Courant Institute, 251 Mercer St (map). Room 317.
Instructor: Gil Kessler.

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 6-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.


Fall 2010   top

Math Enrichment for Teachers

When: Wednesdays 5 - 7pm, Sep 29 - Dec 15, 2010.
Where: NYU Courant Institute, 251 Mercer St (map). Room 517.
Instructor: Larry Zimmerman.

This course is intended for math teachers, whether new or experienced. Participants will be taken on a mathematical journey through topics in number theory, algebra, and geometry, exploring fundamental notions and special topics. Problem posing and problem solving are emphasized throughout. Particular attention is given to the structural underpinnings of mathematics that are relevant to sound and effective teaching.

Although mathematical content is mostly on a high school level, motivated middle school teachers are welcome to register as well.

Saturday Problem Workshops

When: Saturdays, 12/4 and 12/11, 10am - 4pm.
Lunches will be provided.
Where: NYU Courant Institute, 251 Mercer St (map). Room 201.
Instructor: Larry Zimmerman.

These all-day problem workshops will feature a wealth of specially selected problems ranging from relatively simple to very challenging. Solutions, extensions and associated topics will be included. The sessions are a nice follow-up to the Math Team for Teachers mini-course offered last year, although prior attendance is not a pre-requisite.

The mathematical content of these sessions is mostly on a high school level. The registration fee covers both sessions, and lunch on both days.


Summer 2010   top

Summer Workshop 2010 at Bard College

When: July 26-30, 2010. Accommodations will be provided.
Where: Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY (map).
Audience: Middle School Mathematics Teachers.
Theme: The Theorem of Pythagoras.

This week-long residential program is focused on creative and insightful mathematical problem solving for middle school math teachers. The high level mathematics activities and classes are led by NYMC instructors and Bard math professors.

Participants will engage in a wide variety of mathematical investigation, problem solving, and classes that explore and develop a deep appreciation and understanding of the Theorem of Pythagoras and its consequences. Specific topics include geometric dissections, quadratic number system extensions, Diophantine equations, historical development, and a study of Euclid's original proof, which dates back over 2000 years.


Spring 2010   top

Great Problems mini-course

When: Wednesdays 5pm - 7pm, on 2/24, 3/3, 3/10. See below regarding 3/17.
Where: NYU Courant Institute, 251 Mercer St (map). Room 1314.
Instructors: Larry Zimmerman, Gil Kessler.

This three session mini-course will take participants through a variety of wonderful mathematics problems. Participants will see both classic well-known problems, and little-known gems.

There will be an additional related "Math & Dinner" session on Wednesday 3/17 (see registration below). It will be open for free to all interested math teachers. This is a perfect opportunity to bring along colleagues.

Math & Dinner

When: Wednesdays 5pm - 7pm (followed by dinner), on 3/17, 4/21, 4/28, 5/12.
More dates may be added later.
Where: NYU Courant Institute, 251 Mercer St (map). Room 1314.

Not a course! Just informal gatherings for teachers, to discuss some mathematics, work on some problems, and have dinner together. Please register using the link above, so that we know how many people to expect.

March 17, 5pm, "A Pleasing Potpourri of Paradoxes and Puzzles", by Gil Kessler. This talk will be open to both Great Problems mini-course participants and non-participants as well. Come see a selection of unusual problems, then join us for dinner at a nearby restaurant.

April 21, 5pm. "Exploration of Unique Factorization, Part I", with Ben Blum-Smith. The "Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic" is the name for the familiar fact that every natural number factors into primes in just one way. We'll begin with some provocative problems exploring the importance of this fact, and then take a historical journey to understand why a proof of it is necessary.

April 28, 5pm. "Exploration of Unique Factorization, Part II", with Ben Blum-Smith, in Room 202. This picks up directly where the April 21 session leaves off. Participants will be led to collectively create one of the classic proofs of the Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic. The proof will reveal some surprising connections between factorization and other aspects of arithmetic.

May 12, 5pm. "Solving the Cubic", with Japheth Wood. Although solution methods for quadratic equations had been known to the ancient Babylonians, it wasn't until the 16th century that solutions for the cubic began to surface in Renaissance Italy. Come join us to learn the fascinating history of the cubic and see for yourself how it works!

May 19, 5pm. "Exploration of Unique Factorization, Part III", with Ben Blum-Smith. We will prove the unique factorization theorem and extend its reach beyond the integers (We might even get to see why it fails in Z[√-5]). There will be a recap for participants who were not at the April 21 and 28 sessions, so everyone is welcome to attend.


Fall 2009   top

Election Day Workshop for Middle School Teachers

When: Election Day, November 3rd, 2009, 9am - 2pm.
(There will be muffins starting around 8:15am.)
Where: Stuyvesant High School, Manhattan.
Presenters: Richard Kalman and Japheth Wood.

We are pleased to offer a math circle session for middle school teachers at Stuyvesant HS this election day. We hope you can join us for an enjoyable day of mathematics, as always in a supportive environment. Space is limited, so please write to japheth@nymathcircle.org soon if you are interested. Your RSVP is required to attend.

A Return to Calculus

When: Wednesdays 5pm - 7pm, Oct 7 - Dec 16, 2009.
Where: NYU Courant Institute, 251 Mercer St (map). Room 1314.
Instructor: Larry Zimmerman.

Topics from first year Calculus are revisited and viewed from several perspectives.

Emphasis is placed on the underlying structural principles and pervasive unifying themes. Both classic and non-routine problems are presented together with some special theorems and non-standard proofs. In addition, we will offer tips for presentation and course design.

This course would be especially helpful to those teaching or planning to teach Calculus, and will provide insight and practical suggestions based on many years of experience teaching it.

Math Team for Teachers

When: Saturdays 11:30am - 1:30pm, 11/21, 12/5, and 12/12.
Where: NYU Courant Institute, 251 Mercer St (map). Room 201.
Instructors: Larry Zimmerman, David Hankin.

This mini course is for teachers who intend to coach a Math Team, a Math Club, or a related extracurricular activity. It can also be taken by those who simply enjoy doing mathematics and solving math team type questions. Participants will learn how to conduct a Math Team, and will become acquainted with different types of competitions, and with many available sources and resources.

Some mathematical topics essential for Math Team will be presented, accompanied by a wealth of examples. Techniques for training students, motivational devices, and philosophy of the Math Team experience will be addressed. Appreciation of problem solving is a key component. Special emphasis is placed upon potential for student growth as a consequence of Math Team.


Summer 2009   top

Math & Dinner

When: Thursdays, Aug 6 and 13, 2009, 5-7pm, followed by dinner.
Where: NYU Courant Institute, 251 Mercer St (map). Room 1314.

Not a course! Just informal gatherings for teachers, to discuss some mathematics, work on some problems, and have dinner together. Two sessions are planned:

August 6th, 5pm, Interactive Math Investigation, by Jesse Johnson and Ben Blum-Smith. Jesse and Ben recently attended the Math Circle Summer Teacher Training Institute, run by Bob and Ellen Kaplan (who visited both our teachers' and students' classes this spring) and will share their favorite topic with us. As always, the style of this evening of mathematics will be interactive, with everybody welcome to participate in deriving (from scratch) a classical result from ancient Greek mathematics.

August 13th, 5pm, Pianos and Mathematics, by Jeff Suzuki, Brooklyn College. Why does Asian music sound so distinctive, and a C-D chord sound so jarring? What are flats, sharps, and what do they have to do with irrational numbers? This talk will begin with an introduction to music theory and its mathematical challenges. Along the way, we'll learn how to tune a piano (or at least, learn why a piano is tuned the way it is) and explore some of the many connections between mathematics and music.


Spring 2009   top

Math Enrichment for Teachers II (continuation)

When: Wednesdays, 5pm - 7pm, Feb 25 - Apr 1, 2009.
Tentatively: 3/4, 3/18, 3/25, 4/1.
Where: NYU Courant Institute, 251 Mercer St (map).
Instructor: Larry Zimmerman.

This course is a continuation of Math Enrichment for Teachers II started in Fall 2008. See description.

Middle School Math Teachers' Circle

Format: Monthly meetings leading up to a three-day immersion workshop upstate. It is possible to only attend the workshop.
Monthly: Second Wednesday of each month (3/11, 4/8, 5/13, 6/10, 7/8)
5pm-7pm at NYU Courant Institute, 251 Mercer St (map), Room 512.
Workshop: Three days 7/27-7/30 at Union College, Schenectady, NY (map).
NEW! Check out these blogs reporting on the workshop: News from the Math Wizard, and Math Be Brave. Also Albany Area Math Circle blog includes several of Mary O'Keeffe's workshop activities.

We are forming a math circle for middle school math teachers, with the aim of building a community of teachers interested in developing problem solving skills, deepening content knowledge and discussing pedagogy. The Middle School Math Teachers' Circle will meet on the second Wednesday of each month, followed, at the end of July, by a three day immersion workshop at Union College.

If you'd like to register for the summer workshop but can't attend the monthly meetings, use the registration link above, and mention this in the comment box on the form.

Math Enrichment for Teachers 1.6

When: Wednesdays 5pm - 7pm, Feb 25 - May 27, 2009.
Where: NYU Courant Institute, 251 Mercer St (map).
Instructors: Japheth Wood, Larry Zimmerman.
Credit: No officially-recognized credit.

This course is intended for math teachers, whether new or experienced, who wish to enrich their classes. Participants will continue a mathematical journey through number theory, algebra, and geometry, exploring fundamental notions and some special topics. Both new participants and those continuing the Fall course are welcome.

The course will include several guest speakers. Problem posing and problem solving will be emphasized throughout, and opportunity will be provided to work on challenging problems during class time.


Fall 2008   top

The following courses were offered in Fall 2008.

Math Enrichment for Teachers I

When: Tuesdays, 4:30pm - 7:00pm, 9/23/2008 - 1/13/2009
namely (no class on crossed-out dates):
9/23, 9/30, 10/7, 10/14, 10/21, 10/28, 11/4, 11/11, 11/18, 11/25, 12/2, 12/9, 12/16, 12/23, 12/30, 1/6, 1/13.

Where: NYU Courant Institute, 251 Mercer St (map), Room 813.
Instructor: Larry Zimmerman.
Credit: 3 "P" In-Service credits.
Fee: $200 (or $100 with no credit).

This course is intended for math teachers, whether new or experienced, who wish to enrich their classes. Participants will be taken on a mathematical journey through number theory, algebra, and geometry, exploring fundamental notions and some special topics. Problem posing and problem solving are emphasized throughout the course. Particular attention is given to the structural underpinnings of mathematics that are relevant to sound and effective teaching, as well as to ways to engage students of multiple levels and with different strengths.

The course will also address teaching techniques, effective motivational devices, classroom management tips, test construction, and a variety of suggestions for teachers. Although mathematical content is mostly on a high school level, middle school teachers will benefit from the course too, since both content and methods are addressed.

Math Enrichment for Teachers II

When: Wednesdays, 5:00pm - 7:00pm, 9/24/2008 - 1/14/2009
namely (no class on crossed-out dates):
9/24, 10/1, 10/8, 10/15, 10/22, 10/29, 11/5, 11/12, 11/19, 11/26, 12/3, 12/10, 12/17, 12/24, 12/31, 1/7, 1/14.

Where: NYU Courant Institute, 251 Mercer St (map), Room 1013.
Instructor: Larry Zimmerman.
Fee: $100.

This course is intended to heighten mathematical awareness and appreciation by revisiting key topics from university level mathematics. Material will be drawn fom Calculus, Vector Calculus, Multivariable Calculus, Linear Algebra, Abstract Algebra, Number Theory and Advanced Euclidean Geometry. The course will reacquaint the participants with concepts in a gentle manner, while providing a wealth of illustrative examples that cast light on related secondary mathematics. Classic probems will be included.

This course is not designed to acquaint teachers with new syllabi nor provide special training for teachers who are about to teach Mathematics for the first time. However, new teachers may benefit from the course since both content and methods are addressed.


Spring 2008   top

The following course was offered in Spring 2008.

Math Enrichment for Teachers I

When: Wednesdays, 5pm - 7pm, February 27, 2008 - May 21, 2008
    Twelve sessions (except April 23).
Where: NYU Courant Institute, 251 Mercer St (map), Room 513.
Instructor: Larry Zimmerman.

See above for description.