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Northwest Mathematics Interaction

NWMI Math Short Courses 2011

The Two Courses

Session A: (Monday, August 8 - Tuesday, August 9)

Session B (Wednesday, August 10 - Thursday, August 11)

The Mathematics of Origami

Instructor: Philip Mallinson, Philips Exeter Academy

This course will combine making exciting and beautiful origami models with a look at the mathematics that goes into origami, which makes connections from the high school geometry course to the frontiers of research.

This course on mathematics and origami will be very different from the course we offered a couple of years ago, which focused on building polygonal and polyhedral models using origami. This course will be more about the mathematics underlying origami with a glimpse of some of the exciting current research into folding everything from DNA to space stations.

Topics will include folding a strip of paper to divide it into equal parts, finding the conditions for paper to fold flat, folding polyhedra from polygons, unfolding polyhedra, solving quadratic equations and trisecting angles by folding, folding maps, the Shopping Bag Theorem.


Math and Games

Instructor: Brian Hopkins, St. Peter's College

Do "story problems" about, say, the area of patio around a swimming pool motivate your students any more than routine problems without attempts at application? Are students excited about problem solving when the problem itself does not excite them? In this course, we will explore various games and puzzles that address many secondary school mathematics topics in a way that better engages students. The puzzle about frogs & toads jumping over each other would be ridiculed by your biology teacher colleagues, but its analysis leads to patterns, polynomials, and proofs. No one has any good reason to solve the Towers of Hanoi puzzle (which is French, not Vietnamese), but it gives rise to exponents in an engaging way. And the lethal version of "duck duck goose" known as the Josephus problem is bad history, but motivates modular arithmetic more than thinking about clocks. We will consider a wide assortment of mathematical games, from the three mentioned above (all due to Eduardo Lucas in 1883) to ancient Chinese puzzles and brand new games that have not yet been figured out. We will think about how such games can be used to help engage students for various topics, but most of all we will have fun being engaged in mathematics ourselves.


  • PLUS a rich and relaxed optional program of After-Dinner Math.
What are NWMI courses like?

Like all NWMI programs, the minicourses blend practical hands-on activity with reflection about math content. You will feel confident to use what you learn in your classroom.

These NWMI courses are supportive of various math standards but especially the Reasoning, Problem solving, and Communication standards in the Washington State Learning Standards and also the challening Standards for Mathematical Practice in the Common Core State Standards.

High School and Middle School Teachers who wish to delve deeply into a math or teaching topic in a supportive collegial environment.

Registration of $75 for one course or $150 for both before June 25 (without lodging). Add $35 after June 25. For fee that includes lodging, see Cost Page.

Lunches are included for all and breakfasts for those staying on campus.

Lodging is available on campus. For those taking a single two-day course, registration including one night of lodging (and one breakfast) is $135 until June 25. For those taking both courses, registration including 3 nights of lodging (and 3 breakfasts) is $335 until June 25. See details on Cost Page.


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

Six Clock hours per day for each course will be available for an additional cost of $2.00 per hour. You can include up to 8 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.

UW credit is available for teachers participating in 4 days of courses, if four hours of After-Dinner Math evening is included. Two UW credits of Math 497 for two courses together will be available for the additional cost of $223. Payment can be made by credit card or check. (For UW math 497 credit, 6 additional hours of After-Dinner Math are required.)

  • Sun 8/7: 7-8:30 PM -- an evening program to kick off the week and provide information!
  • Mon-Thu 8/8 - 8/11: From 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM each day of class.
  • Mon-Thursday 7:30-9:30 - Optional After-Dinner Math
APPLICATION FORM and REGISTRATION FORM To register, do BOTH of these steps.
  1. Fill out this Online Application Form.

  2. Print this Printable Registration Form and mail it with your registration fee: Link to Printable Registration Form
COST TABLE Link to Cost Table

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