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Northwest Mathematics Interaction

Partitions: It All Adds Up!
July 29-30

Content of this Course
  • Back when McDonalds sold Chicken McNuggets in quantities of 6, 9, and 20, why couldn't you order 43 of them, while every greater quantity you could?
  • Why are there as many ways to write 10 as a sum of odd numbers as there are ways to write 10 as a sum of distinct numbers?
  • How can polynomials be used to address such questions, and how can you use drawings of dots to prove things?

These are some of the questions we will explore in this hands-on minicourse about partitions. The topic almost seems naive, adding up positive integers---for example, 4, 3+1, 2+2, 2+1+1, and 1+1+1+1 are the five partitions of 4---but it motivated Euler, Ramanujan, Freeman Dyson, and contemporary researchers to discover and prove some beautiful theorems. Come explore this accessible area of mathematics and see the interesting ways that things add up.

Professor Brian Hopkins of St. Peter's College in New Jersey (but a UW math department alumnus) has offered original and engaging courses in discrete math for NWMI for many years.
HS and MS Teachers who wish to expand their mathematical horizons while experiencing the learning of math through investigation in a friendly and supportive atmosphere.

Washington Teachers: Registration Fee $30 until class is filled.
Out-of-state Teachers: See Cost Page at the link at the bottom of the page.
Stipends: A limited number of stipends of $330 are available for Washington teachers, with the expectation that teachers will attend all the sessions. See stipend details at this link.

Two lunches are included - also Thursday breakfast for those staying or campus (or commuters by request).

For Washington teachers: Lodging is included Wednesday night if requested.
Out-of-state Teachers: See Cost Pageat the link at the bottom of the page.


Applications for clock hours will be made on site when you arrive.

Fourteen Clock hours will be available for an additional cost of $2.00 per hour. You can include additional hours for After-Hour Math. Payment for clock hours is by check only, not credit card. Be sure to bring your checkbook for clock hours.

  • Wed-Thu 7/29 -7/30; From 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM each day of class.
  • Wed 7:30-9:30 - Optional After-Dinner Math
APPLICATION FORM Link to Printable Application Form
COST TABLE Link to Cost Table

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