SEMINAR PROFILE
M01 

Math Moments for Everyone: From 5minute Interludes to Weeklong Units  
There is enormous pressure to cover certain material in the curriculum to prepare students for standardized tests. Unfortunately, in the process we and the students can easily lose sight of why one wants to or needs to learn these facts and methods. The purpose of this seminar is to discuss a variety of topics which can be used to entertainingly supplement the standard core at all levels from junior high to high school, from fiveminute interludes to weeklong units. Thus, in addition to talking about interesting mathematics, we will also extensively discuss how to work it into the classroom. The first day will emphasize "aha moments", when all of a sudden we see connections at a deep and fundamental level. In these moments we see, if not the "right" way to look at something, at least a "better" way. We will describe some common problems students and teachers encounter, highlighting how a new vantage can lead to clarity. Topics will be drawn from dimensional analysis (especially proofs of the Pythagorean theorem, the period of the pendulum and Keple''s third law, among others), cryptography, combinatorics, probability, number theory, and geometry, with a special emphasis on how to bring these moments into the classroom. The second day will be a mix of exploring further some topics from the first day and some weeklong modules in computational mathematics written by the instructor and his colleagues. These units were designed to be used in high school classes to demonstrate the power of computational thinking; there are lesson plans (with activities and homework solutions) that are freely available, and there may be funds to beta test some in classrooms. The modules will be chosen on or shortly after the first day: possibilities include cryptography, streaming information, solar energy, sustainability, tomography, recursion, game theory, and fair division. **This seminar is most appropriate for middle school/ high school math teachers, but anyone who enjoys math is welcome.  
Scholar:


Location:

Harvard UniversityRosovsky Hall


Dates:

5/11/2021, 5/12/2021

