This last semester marked some significant milestones in the first 3 years of the Metroplex Math Circle hosted by the University of Texas at Dallas.
Attendance for all Math Circle sessions was particularly high with at least 50 students, parents and teachers participating in each session. This compares very favorably with many other math circles around the country.
Two of our sessions were particularly well attended. The first session of the semester with Richard Rusczyk filled our regular room to capacity with over 104 attendees. The special MMC event with Dr. Arthur Benjamin set a record with over 340 attendees from the local community.
Lecture Content and Speakers
As with all successful MMC semesters, Fall 2008 offered a great variety of pure and applied mathematics as well as new and returning speakers.
We were very glad to have returning speakers like Alicia Prieto Langarica, Dr. Paul Stanford, and of course Dr. Titu Andreescu. We were also fortunate to have new speakers travel from around the country to share their knowledge with us including Chengde Feng, Richard Rusczyk, Dr. Bennette Harris, Simion Filip and Dr. Tanya Khovanova.
News and Events
An important paper, Cross-Cultural Analysis of Students with Exceptional Talent in Mathematical Problem Solving was published by Dr. Andreescu and his colleagues. This paper set off a global debate in popular media including The New York Times, Reuters India, and Newsweek about the role of American culture in discouraging math achievement particularly among young women.
Metroplex Math Circle was also very happy to see a local math contest return to the Dallas area sponsored by the Malayalee Engineers Association of North Texas (MEANT). Their event was very well attended by math circle participants who distinguished themselves in the contest.
Metroplex Math Circle has been very successful in supporting its local community in alignment with the goals and aspirations of the University of Texas at Dallas. But we have also attempted to serve the global community and to promote the reputation of UTD through electronic media.
Since its launch in August, the new Metroplex Math Circle website has had over 8,600 unique page views.
The Yahoo Group currently has 97 members and is used to distribute information on upcoming events and to support discussions by students, parents and faculty members.
In 2009 we will continue to experiment with new media including an outpost on Facebook.
This semester was only successful due to the following contributions:
- Generous sponsorship from the University of Texas at Dallas
- Speakers willing to invest significant time to prepare lectures and travel great distances to share their love of problem solving
- Parents sufficiently committed to the education of their students that they are willing to sacrifice a significant fraction of their weekends
- Students who are willing to be attentive throughout the lectures and who are inspired to work on problems and ideas raised by math circle
- And of course none of this would exist were it not for the original inspiration and continuing direction of Dr. Titu Andreescu