Posts Tagged ‘Art of Problem Solving’

crawfordteachIn addition to the Metroplex Math Circle, the Dallas Metroplex will soon be home to another unique institution which will help students develop their mathematical and problem solving skills.  Mathew Crawford, well-known to the global problem solving community for his early work on the Art of Problem Solving and two books in the library of almost every competitive problem solver (Introduction to Number Theory and Intermediate Algebra)  is opening his new school, Daedalus Education.

The new facility is being built out in a convenient location along 75:  3303 North Central Expressway, Suite 270, Plano, TX

Through his previous school and online resources, Mathew Crawford has helped many young problem solvers to realize their full potentialDaedalus Education offers a curriculum designed to inspire and challenge the most gifted problem solvers and evolved from years of working with a wide variety of students.

Mr. Crawford has been interviewing students and teaching assistants for his inaugural courses beginning in the fall.  Families interested in meeting with Mr. Crawford and applying for a spot in one of his classes should contact Daedalus Education as soon as possible.


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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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The Art of Problem Solving has just announced a new course starting this fall in Group Theory.   Like all of the AOPS courses this is sure to be an excellent offering.   Here is the AOPS course description:

Group theory is the study of symmetry. Objects in nature (math, physics, chemistry, etc.) have beautiful symmetries and group theory is the algebraic language we use to unlock that beauty. This example-driven course will focus specifically on building groups from other groups, ways that groups can act on various sets, and using the tools of group theory to construct fields.

Group theory is the gateway to abstract algebra, one of the two core branches of higher mathematics. (Just as calculus is the gateway to the other core branch, analysis.) Algebra and analysis together hold the tools for most areas of advanced mathematics, from geometry to topology to applied mathematics and beyond. Algebra is what tells us (among many other things) that you can’t trisect an angle, that there are finitely many regular polyhedra, and that there is no closed form for solving a quintic, for example. In this class we will get a glimpse of the mathematics underlying these famous questions.

Note: We will not assume prior knowledge of what a group is. Group theory is a topic that is generally reserved for a sophomore or junior level abstract algebra course, but this class attempts to present the most important concepts and examples on a level appropriate for very strong high school students. The goal of this class, as with all of our classes, is to provide a much richer curriculum that challenges students who are otherwise exhausting the subjects available to them.

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Almost two years ago many of us were fortunate enough to hear Richard Rusczyk, the founder of The Art of Problem Solving speak here at our Math Circle.  Now for those who may have missed that memorable talk or for those who would like to share it with others, there is a video of  a very similar talk given by Richard at the prestigious Math Prize for Girls.

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Richard Rusczyk’s long awaited Precalculus Book is now available!  Here is the description:

Precalculus is part of the acclaimed Art of Problem Solving curriculum designed to challenge high-performing middle and high school students. Precalculus covers trigonometry, complex numbers, vectors, and matrices. It includes nearly 1000 problems, ranging from routine exercises to extremely challenging problems drawn from major mathematics competitions such as the American Invitational Mathematics Exam and the USA Mathematical Olympiad. Almost half of the problems have full, detailed solutions in the text, and the rest have full solutions in the accompanying Solutions Manual.

As with all of the books in Art of Problem Solving’s Introduction and Intermediate series, Precalculus is structured to inspire the reader to explore and develop new ideas. Each section starts with problems, so the student has a chance to solve them without help before proceeding. The text then includes solutions to these problems, through which new techniques are taught. Important facts and powerful problem solving approaches are highlighted throughout the text.

About the authors: Richard Rusczyk is the founder of http://www.artofproblemsolving.com. He is co-author of the Art of Problem Solving, Volumes 1 and 2 and Intermediate Algebra, and author of Introduction to Algebra and Introduction to Geometry. He was a national MATHCOUNTS participant, a three-time participant in the Math Olympiad Summer Program, a perfect scorer on the AIME, and a USA Math Olympiad Winner. The solutions are co-authored by Naoki Sato. He is a curriculum developer and the director of WOOT at Art of Problem Solving. He won first place in the 1993 Canadian Mathematical Olympiad and is a 2-time medalist at the International Mathematical Olympiad. He has been Deputy Leader of the Canadian IMO team three times.

ISBN: 978-1-934124-16-1
Text: 528 pages. Solutions: 272 pages.
Paperback. 10 7/8 x 8 3/8 x 1 1/16 inches.

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The Art of Problem Solving is hosting a free for Math Jam those interested in linguistics:

 Date: Nov 20 (Fri)
Time: 7:30 PM Eastern
Instructor: Christina Skelton
Two linguists discuss the the Comparative Method, a linguistic theory which describes how languages change over time, and use it to demonstrate that English is related to some exotic languages you never would have imagined, like Sanskrit and Hittite.


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180px-latex_logosvg1The math skills learned in our math circles have been helpful to students hoping to improve their scores on the AMC tests or the AIME.  But to be successful in olympiads or to answer the questions from USAMTS or AOPS requires that students can also articulate their problem solving in the form of proofs.

A preferred tool for writing proofs and indeed for writing many scientific papers is the typesetting system called LaTeX.  Whether you are a student who has never tried LaTeX and proof writing or you just want to improve your skills, this Saturday’s workshop is for you.  Even younger students will enjoy how easy it is to create very advanced mathematical expressions by mastering LaTeX.

Here is what our friends at the Art of Problem Solving have to say about LaTeX:

The LaTeX typesetting system (pronounced “Lay-Tek” or “Lah-Tek”) is widely used to produce well-formatted mathematical and scientific writing. With LaTeX, it is very easy to produce expressions like

Nearly every serious student of math and science will use LaTeX frequently.

In the second hour of the Metroplex Math Circle we will have a special private screening and discussion of the documentary Hard Problems.  If you have not seen it, Hard Problems recounts the selection and success of the US team at the 2006 International Mathematics Olympiad.  In this excellent film you will see many friends of MMC including Dr. Zuming Feng.

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