2019-20 Session

2019-20 August Immersion

Our summer immersion took take place Monday, August 5.

One problem we focused on was Peter Winkler’s “Pizza Problem” (google it only if you want spoilers). The problem statement is:

Bob cuts a pizza into radial slices. Then Alice can choose the first piece of pizza. They alternate choosing slices, where each subsequent slice must be adjacent to the opening left by previously chosen slices. The question is: Can Bob ever cut the pizza to guarantee that he will get more than half of the pizza?

2019-20 School-year Program

Each month there is both a Tuesday Circle and a Saturday Circle Participants elect to primarily attend one or the other. During the school year the Wayne County Math Circle will meet in: September, October, November, January, February, March, April, & May.

To sign up for both the immersion and monthly school-year meetings, use the online application.

These sessions are lead by mathematicians and consist of collaborative work on open-ended, exploratory math problems and using those experiences to think about problem-solving in the classroom.

Tuesday Circle:

Saturday Circle:

  • Saturday following Tuesday Circle
  • Time: 9am – 12pm
  • Location: Room 261 in the Crane Liberal Arts Building, Washtenaw Community College. See building labeled LA and parking labeled PS on this map. Parking structure (free) connects to Crane Liberal Arts Building on the second floor.
  • Dates: 9/21/1910/26/1911/23/192/1/20,


Tuesday & Saturday, September 17 & 21, 2019

Session Leader: Nina White
Title: All Kinds of Tic-Tac-Toe!
Inspired by this article in the MTCircular, we started by creating a strategy chart for regular tic-tac-toe, showing that the first player can always force a draw. We spent much of the rest of time on a tic-tac-toe variant called “Gobblers” (described in the link article above) and then also explored Notakto and Wild tic-tac-toe.

Tuesday & Saturday, October 22 & 26, 2019

Session Leader: Chris Cunningham
Title: Baby RSA

Chris introduced us to modular arithmetic and we got comfortable by finding awesome patterns in the Fibonacci triangle modulu various numbers. (Hexagonal graph paper was helpful for this!) The we learned Baby RSA, a way to encrypt messages. See Chris’ resources in the links below.Resources

Tuesday & Saturday, November 19 & 23, 2019

Session Leader: Amy Shell-Gellasch
Title: Multiplication and Division with Ancient Chinese Rod Numerals.

In this workshop we will introduce the Chinese rod numerals and how to perform multiplication and division using them. The Chinese rod numerals date back at least two thousand years. The oldest examples of bone rods are dated to about the second century BCE. The rod numerals are of interest for the clever way that place value is depicted using rod orientation. Multiplication was performed by physically manipulating the placement of rods on a place-value counting board. The beauty of this system is the physical movement of rods to show carrying and place value of each partial sum. Students can learn this system from scratch in a short time and can make rods out of simple items such as popsicle sticks. This activity combines review of place-value, an introduction to a new cultural approach to arithmetic, and the kinetic reinforcement of prior knowledge of the western method of multiplication by regrouping.

As a bonus, we also got to explore powers of two in Indomathematics


No December Meeting

Tuesday & Saturday, January 28 & February 1, 2020

Session Leader: TBA
Title: TBA

Tuesday & Saturday, February 25 & 29, 2020

Session Leader: TBA
Title: TBA

Tuesday & Saturday, March 24 & 28, 2020

Session Leader: TBA
Title: TBA

Tuesday & Saturday, April 21 & 25, 2020

Session Leader: TBA
Title: TBA

Tuesday & Saturday, May 19 & 23, 2020

Session Leader: TBA
Title: TBA