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Northwest Mathematics Interaction

NWMI Math Short Courses 2012

The Two Courses

Monday, July 30
- Tuesday, July 31

Wednesday, August 1
- Thursday, August 2

Recreational Math in the Classroom

Instructor: Brian Hopkins, St. Peter's College

Some math has been developed for applications, some for theory, but some is just for fun! Recreational mathematics has a long history with colorful characters and several instances where it ended up contributing serious content despite itself. In this course, we will explore various puzzles and curiosities that address many secondary school mathematics topics in a way that better engages students.

A primary source will be the the popular columns of Martin Gardner from Scientific American that inspired a few generations of mathematicians, skilled amateurs, and aficionados. We will spend time exploring many topics in recreational mathematics and thinking about how they can be used to help engage students for various topics, but most of all we will have fun being engaged in mathematics ourselves. (This minicourse is similar in spirit to last year's Games & Math offering but will have different content.)

The Mathematics of Origami

Instructor: Philip Mallinson, Philips Exeter Academy

When you think of origami you might think of cranes or water bombs. In this course we will not fold cranes and water bombs but we will explore the geometry of the folds that make up these creations. For example, we will investigate how to fold polyhedra from polygons, such as folding a tetrahedron from an arbitrary triangle or an octahedron from an unfolded cube and find under what conditions paper will fold flat.

We will also explore the other side of the coin: how to use paper folding to illustrate geometric concepts and enrich a traditional geometry course. We will show how you can trisect an arbitrary angle, construct an exact pentagon, how to divide a strip of paper into a number of equal pieces, how to illustrate the concept of a limit. We will see how the axioms of origami will allow us to solve quadratic and cubic equations (not possible with Euclid's axioms) using a piece of paper.

We will travel from the geometry class to the frontiers of current research following the work of Tom Hull and Erik Demaine, two active and exciting toilers in the origami vineyard.

  • 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 challenging 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 $125 for one course or $250 for both before June 25 (without lodging). Add $25 late fee after June 25. For fee that includes lodging, see Cost Page.

Lunches are included for all. For those lodging on campus, breakfasts are also included.

Lodging is available on campus. For those taking a single two-day course, registration including two nights of lodging (and two breakfasts) is $210 until June 25. For those taking both courses, registration including 4 nights of lodging (and 4 breakfasts) is $420 until June 25. After June 25, add a $25 late fee. See details on Cost Page.


Applications for 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.

  • Sun 7/29: 7-9 PM -- an evening program to kick off the week and provide information!
  • Mon-Thu 7/30 - 8/2: From 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM each day of class.
  • Mon-Thursday 7:30-9:30 - Optional After-Dinner Math
  1. Fill out this Online Application Form.

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

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