Archive for November, 2012

Many talented young problem solvers can find their first math circle visits challenging because they simply haven’t been exposed to some of the concepts and tools of discrete mathematics.  In the US many of these concepts are reserved for “university level” mathematics but it has been proven that these ideas can be well understood and applied by very young students.  The students who add these concepts to their toolbox will have much more success in math circles and math contests as well as a great advantage going on to university.

To help fill this void, the good people at IMACS, creators of the popular eIMACS courses, have launched a series of short and focused online courses under the title of Elements of Mathematics: Foundations.  The first course in this series, Operational Systems, focuses on the very important concept of modular arithmetic and is free for students who register before January 1, 2013.

This course covers modular arithmetic using secret codes and online games. Learn about operational systems and their properties (commutativity, associativity, neutral elements, invertibility) by building interactive machines and evaluating non-numeric operations. Get a solid introduction to the concepts of least common multiple and greatest common divisor, as well as to the geometric notions of midpoint and reflection.

IMACS has provided the following description of the origins of this series and curriculum.

The Elements of Mathematics: Foundations online courses are based on Book 0: Intuitive Background of the Elements of Mathematics (EM) series of textbooks. EM is the result of a collaborative effort of an international team of eminent mathematicians and mathematics educators.

Through more than a decade of research and development, these scholars created an original curriculum that is fun and engaging for talented middle and high school students while maintaining a level of mathematical rigor found only at the university level. Aimed solely at talented students and unconstrained by the need to follow a standards-based curriculum, EM focused on providing precocious students with a deep understanding of mathematical structure.

Along the way, Book 0: Intuitive Background covered all of middle and high school mathematics except calculus before the end of middle school. After completing the Intuitive Background series, students would begin the EM formal logic series which covered a significant portion of a college undergraduate mathematics degree by the end of high school. The formal logic segment of the EM curriculum is already available online at www.eimacs.com as part of the Advanced Mathematical Logic track.

Don’t allow yourself to forget over the holidays, sign up for the first course in the series today.



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While Metroplex Math Circle is on Thanksgiving break please enjoy this replay of the excellent talk given by Mathew Crawford in our last session:

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On October 20th Dr. Titu Andreescu spoke to the Metroplex Math Circle at UT Dallas and shared a number of interesting problems.  The video below will give people some sense of what a math circle session can be.  We are still experimenting with our video and streaming technology so we appreciate your patience and are grateful for your tips to improve the quality of these videos which will be posted to our YouTube channel.

Please note that every Metroplex Math Circle speaker is encouraged to choose the topic and format that best suits their style and passions.  This means that every session is somewhat different and you are encouraged to read the description of each session posted here or on our FaceBook and Google+ pages when you make your decision to attend.

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This weekend we have a very special guest lecturer.  Mathew Crawford, who will be well known to many MMC attendees as the author of the popular AOPS titles:  Introduction to Number Theory and  Intermediate Algebra.   Mr. Crawford will be bringing with him 50 copies of problem materials which will be available only to the first 50 families to join us.  If you are unfamiliar with Mathew Crawford and his extensive work, the following information comes from the AOPSWiki:

Mathew Crawford is the founder and CEO of MIST Academy, a school for gifted and talented students, headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. Crawford won numerous national math championships as a student before attending Washington University in St. Louis on a Compton Fellowship where he studied mathematics and worked on the Human Genome Project at the Institute for Biomedical Computing. After spending several years on Wall Street and eventually running a finance operation from the basement of his apartment, Crawford founded his first education company in 2001, Universal Set Educational Resources, with childhood friend Cameron Matthews. In 2003, Crawford became the first employee of Art of Problem Solving where he helped to write and teach most of the online classes during the first three years of the AoPS online school.

His competition achievements include:

  • National MathCounts written test champion in 7th grade (perfect score of 46) and second place in 8th grade (score of 44).
  • Two-time perfect scorer on the AHSME.
  • Perfect score on the AIME as a freshman.
  • Three-time invitee to the Mathematical Olympiad Summer Program.
  • Member of a top 4 Putnam team.
  • Youngest winner of the National Mu Alpha Theta convention.
  • Only 5-time winner of the Alabama State Written Examination (Algebra II/Trig once, Comprehensive four times).
  • Twice among ARML high scorers (tie-breakers) and Zachary Sobol Award winner.

Crawford also writes competition problems and performs duties for many math competitions:

  • USAMTS problem writer and grader (2004-2006)
  • iTest head test writer (2007 and 2008)
  • Birmingham and Alabama MATHCOUNTS coordinator
  • Mu Alpha Theta test writer and proof reader
  • Co-coach of the Missouri ARML team (1996,1997)
  • Coach of the San Diego ARML team (2005,2006)
  • Coach of the Alabama ARML team (2008, 2010-present)
  • Headed up the grading of the Power Round for the Georgia ARML site (2010)
  • San Diego Math League test writer and problem writer for the San Diego Math Olympiad (2004-6)

His first book, Introduction to Number Theory was published by AoPS in June, 2006. He is also coauthor of the Intermediate Algebra text, which came out in April, 2008.

Crawford’s user page can be found here.

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