Thursday, August 25, 2016

CAMP Day 3



On Wednesday we began the journey of our third day of the Bard Math Circle CAMP of 2016 by experimenting with tooth picks to try to solve the many matchstick puzzles that one of our fantastic TA's, Alexis, brought in for us to think over.  Some of us in pairs, and some individually, impressively worked through the sheet of puzzles solving many if not all of the matchstick problems!



We started our math class by learning more about planar transformations! We split up into groups of two or three to experiment and see if any pairs of planar transformations are commutative (meaning the resulting figure after both planar transformations were applied was not affected by the order in which the transformations occurred). Each group drew their findings on the board and presented their conclusions. After that, some students started drawing the Sierpinski triangle by beginning with an equilateral triangle as Stage 0, and then repeatedly "cutting" out a fourth of the previous stage’s triangles after each iteration. We then recorded the area and perimeter of our shape at each stage to observe what was happening to the triangle!


In art class our Sierpinski triangles, that we had made the day before, became three dimensional one of a kind sculptures! We noticed that the paper caught the light in really beautiful ways and so we began to design unique lamp shades using our marbled paper and the texture of the Sierpinski triangle.  So in order to add our own individual personalities to these fractal lamp shades everyone took their own steps to alter their designs: making constellational cut outs, layering, cutting out more shapes, attaching geometric solids, and more. And some of us simply spent time as designers, imagining and working through different ideas on our own as well as with our classmates.  


We learned about and started practicing our pair-programming techniques in computer science, where one of the students served as the driver and the other a navigator. This way we get to share ideas and come up with creative solutions together; when more of these brilliant computer scientist/artist/mathematicians are working together, the more amazing the solutions can become. Then we did a fun exercise where each person in the class said a line of code as we tried to write a program together. Additionally, we learned about creating functions in the code tab to make each button have only one function controlling it. This makes it easier to edit our program!












After a rousing game of blob tag, following lunch, these mathematicians split into three groups: some of us went to play a game entitled Staying Rational in the Infinite Hotel, some went to continue to explore the mysteries of the Rubik’s cube, and others went to learn about tessellations and create some beautiful and fascinating tessellation artwork.


We finished our day as we normally do with a rousing game of Bard Math Circle CAMP Jeopardy. Today the game was very similar to the day before, but we added the excitement of prizes! Origami paper was handed out as a prize that the students could use to create the intricate origami designs that we have learned during camp. Everyone went home happy: with a smile, some origami paper, and some new knowledge about math!

-Meagan (as normal with help from other lovely Math CAMP friends)

(Photo of Sierpinski's triangle courtesy of zeuscat.com)

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

CAMP Day 2

Welcome back! This Tuesday we started the day by getting excited about math through some competitive and fast-paced games of Set. Set is a game that uses cards that have four varying characteristics: the shape shown, the number of times that shape is pictured, the shading of the shape, and the color of the shape. The students attempted to discover sets of three cards for which each characteristic on the cards was either all the same or all different. These mathematicians caught onto the game so quickly that many soon had to start reusing cards from sets they had already discovered to keep the game going!





In math class we learned about scaling (by fractions) figures that were placed at the origin of a graph. We found out that after many iterations of this process we would only be able to perceive a tiny dot because the figure would become so minuscule. But if we magnified the picture we would be able to see that every figure is geometrically similar, meaning all of the angles remain the same and the lengths of the sides are proportional to the original shape though the area of the figures were changing. Because of this geometric similarity, you would not be able to tell which iteration of the scale you were looking at unless given additional information. This started to help us to understand the self-similarity of fractals!


In computer science we got to learn about local variables and creating functions in NetLogo. We explored producing geometric shapes using agent-based programming. Through what we learned we were able to create shapes within other shapes. We also learned about modifying different attributes of the turtles to create and experiment with individual effects. This was a fun way to customize our programs to our own original personalities and tastes!


For art class our mathematician/computer scientist/artists created our own fractal-like art projects! We created a three dimensional paper version of a famous fractal known as the Sierpinski Triangle. Students cut, folded, inverted, and repeated, to ‘infinity’!!!! We could clearly see that if we kept going with our cuts, that eventually the cuts would become too small for our scissors to cut and our eyes to see. This related to our math class because if you zoomed in on any of the triangles you would not be able to tell which part of the triangle you had magnified; similar to the affect that occurs after many iterations of scaling a figure by fractions.


















In addition to our everyday classes, after some lunch and time outside, we split up for a few fun activities: a portion of us went to play cards and boardgames while other students ventured out to try to explore and learn the algorithms of a Rubik’s cube in order to solve the puzzle that has stumped many for years. A few of our mathematicians who were more experienced with Rubik’s cubes even helped out some of the novices of the group.


video


At the end of the day we came back for another fun-filled round of Bard Math Circle CAMP Jeopardy. Today our Jeopardy was a little different than on our first day. The Jeopardy game was projected in the auditorium with organized categories containing five levels of questions each assigned a different point value based on difficulty. In four separate groups the students put their genius minds together to try to claim the title of Jeopardy Champions of Day 2 of the Bard Math Circle CAMP! In the end every student won as we were able to go home with a better understanding of art and math and computer science!

-Meagan (again with the help of some other Math CAMP friends)

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

CAMP Day 1

Hello everyone! So Monday marked the first day for the Bard Math Circle CAMP of 2016!! On the very first day of our exciting mathematical journey we jumped quickly into our explorations of fractals!

The day started with a game that involved team work and communication: the catch, we could not use our voices. Everyone received a card from a normal playing deck that we placed on our foreheads without looking at the card and then were instructed to try to line up in order based on card value or the suit of the cards. There was some phenomenal team work happening with this group of students who were able to create nearly perfect lineups in very little time. After that morning activity, we went on to play a few rounds of human knot in which the students stood in groups of even numbers and grasped hands of other group members to form our very own human knots. Then we observed the patterns that occurred while trying to untangle each of the human knots!


In math class we first learned about places in nature where we can find fractal-like compositions: trees, clouds, lungs, and more! Then we transitioned into learning about planar transformations; we learned about scaling, translating, rotating, and reflecting! And we all figured out how to apply those transformations to the Cartesian coordinates of an irregular figure that looked like the silhouette of an abstract tent with a tree behind it. 


And in computer science we figured out some code that would have the computer draw this same abstract shape for us! The program used to do this is NetLogo, and we learned how to manipulate what are called turtles to move around the screen for us and draw different shapes. To do this we learned a bit about the different ways to control turtles in NetLogo and even figured out how to create our own commands! Some students were able to finish the task early and then went on to explore the different turtle properties and how to manipulate them using local variables.


Also on this very exciting first day, our mathematicians took some time to be artists as well! We learned how to make vibrant and beautiful fractal prints using a technique called marbling. Paper marbling is an ancient tradition and skill where pigment floats on water and the transfer of the surface information onto paper is both unexpected and mirrors the fractal patterns that naturally occur in water. 



To end our day on the beautiful Bard campus, we all came back together in the auditorium of the RKC building for a fun game of C.A.M.P. Jeopardy. This was a little different from your normal jeopardy game show with the normal monetary prizes replaced by the ever more sought after space stickers and Bard math pencils! There was also a little more running around than normal Jeopardy done by our whole staff: high school volunteers, teaching assistants, coordinators, teachers and all could be seen rushing to each group to check their work as our student mathematicians worked at lightning speed to solve each conundrum presented to them. And after a long day of math our day came to an end as everyone returned home to reflect on all of the awesome math and fun that we experienced throughout that eventful first day!


-Meagan (with some help from other Math CAMP friends)

Saturday, May 7, 2016

CAMP is now waitlisted

We've experienced strong interest in our 2016 CAMP program, and have moved the registration into waiting list mode.

* We are still processing current applications, and expect to make a first round of invitations very soon.

* If you are interested in attending CAMP, please do complete the application form to be placed on the waiting list. We will make additional invitations as space becomes available.

Bard Math Circle

MAY We Expect You at these Upcoming Events?

You May wish to take note of some of these cool upcoming math events, especially since this is the last month of our mathematical school year!


May Library Programs


We have two library programs this month.

 

Tivoli Free Library


On Friday, May 6th, please join us at the Tivoli Free Library on 86 Broadway, Tivoli, NY 12583. We will play games, solve puzzles, and tackle interesting problems from 4:00 until 5:30 pm.
 

Kingston Library


On Saturday, May 14th, we welcome one and all to the Kingston Library, 55 Franklin Street, Kingston, NY 12401. The Children's Department is undergoing renovation, so we will meet upstairs in the Story Hour Room. Join us at 1:00 until 3:00 pm for some enriching problem solving and fun, math-themed crafts! OR, come by early to participate in the 6th annual Chalk Walk from 12:30pm-2:00pm. Bring your creativity! The chalk is provided.

All library programs are run on a drop-in basis, and registration is not required. We do ask students to sign in each time, and to provide their name, grade, and school. This is done electronically for Kingston, so please sign in using this link at least once this year.
 

C.A.M.P. Summer 2016


The 2016 CAMP Application is live; Apply for CAMP 2016 here!

The Bard Math Circle is pleased to announce the CAMP (Creative and Analytical Math Program), set for August 22–26, 2016. This advanced week-long math enrichment program is intended for motivated middle school students currently in grades 5–8.

Dates: Monday, August 22 to Friday, August 26
Time: 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM each day
Location: Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY
Cost: $225. Need-based financial aid is available.
Lunch: Lunch will be provided in Kline Commons, the Bard College cafeteria.

For more information about CAMP, please visit bardmathcircle.org. This website contains the latest information about the program, as well as archival blog posts and information from last summer.

 

Purple Comet! Results

We would like to extend thanks to all who participated in the Purple Comet! math contest at Bard this year! Our two teams ranked 9th and 20th place in New York State; check out our website soon for more detailed results. Great job, everyone! We invite you all to participate again next year, whether you competed this year or not.


Let's end this year with a bang! We are excited to see you all at these final events to close out a great year.

Bard Math Circle
bardmathcircle.org
bardmathcircle@gmail.com

Thursday, March 31, 2016

April Library Programs


We have two library programs this month.
 

Tivoli Free Library


This Friday, April 1st, we will be at the Tivoli Library on 86 Broadway, Tivoli, NY 12583. Join us at 4 pm for games, puzzles, and interesting problems - we're not fooling you, we promise!
 

Kingston Library


On Saturday, April 9th, we welcome one and all to the Kingston Library, 55 Franklin Street, Kingston, NY 12401. The Children's Department is undergoing renovation, so we will meet upstairs in the Story Hour Room. Come out for some enriching problem solving and fun, math-themed crafts!

All library programs are run on a drop-in basis, and registration is not required. We do ask students to sign in each time, and to provide their name, grade and school. This is done electronically for Kingston, so please sign in using this link at least once this year.


Purple Comet! Math Meet


We are looking for middle school and high school students to compete in the annual Purple Comet! Math Meet. The Bard Math Circle will be hosting this competition here at Bard College from Tuesday April 12 through Thursday April 21. If you would like to sign up as an individual or a pre-formed team, click here to register. For information about the Purple Comet! competition, check out their website here.


C.A.M.P. Summer 2016


Are you a middle student (grades 5-8) looking for an engaging and exciting mathematical experience this summer? Look no further! The Bard Creative Analytical Math Program (C.A.M.P.) will be held from August 22-26, 2016. Registration will launch in early to mid April.

Want to hear more about the C.A.M.P? We will be sending out more information later this month. Click the link at the bottom of this email that says "update subscription preferences" and make sure you have "Summer C.A.M.P" checked off under the "I am interested in" heading. In the meantime, check out the American Math Society and the Art of Problem Solving lists for more math camps you can attend this summer.

 

Chess! 


Do you enjoy playing chess? Want to show off your skills or meet others who share your interest? Check out the Chess in the Clove Swiss Tournament Challenge hosted by the Platte Clove School Chess Club. The event takes place on Sunday April 23rd and is geared towards students in grades K-8. If you are interested in participating in this event, email pcschess@mailstack.com or call 518-589-5103 to register before April 20th. For more information, contact Peter Maas by email.


We are excited for what is coming and we hope you are too!

Bard Math Circle

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

March Update

Who is ready to spring into March? The Bard Math Circle has lots planned for the math-y month ahead.
 

March Library Programs


We have two library programs this month.
 

Tivoli Free Library


This Friday, March 4th, we will be at the Tivoli Library on 86 Broadway, Tivoli, NY 12583. Join us at 4 pm for games, puzzles, and interesting problems!
 

Kingston Library


On Saturday, March 12th, we welcome one and all to the Kingston Library, 55 Franklin Street, Kingston, NY 12401. The Children's Department is undergoing renovation, so we will meet upstairs in the Story Hour Room. Since this is just two days before Pi Day on March 14 (3/14, get it?), come out for some pi related math and fun! Our Kingston program runs every 2nd Saturday, from 1pm to 3pm.

All library programs are run on a drop-in basis, and registration is not required. We do ask students to sign in each time, and to provide their name, grade and school. This is done electronically for Kingston, so please sign in using this link at least once this year.
 

Competitions


AMC 10/12


AMC 10/12 results are in! Average scores at Bard College for both levels were higher than the national average - superb job to all participants! Check out Bard's full score report here and AMC 10/12 national statistics here.
 

Purple Comet! Math Meet


We are looking for middle school and high school students to compete in the annual Purple Comet! Math Meet. For more information about the contest click here. The Bard Math Circle will be hosting this competition here at Bard College from Tuesday April 12 through Thursday April 21. 

This competition is a fun way to engage in group problem solving in the spirit of friendly competition. Teams can consist of as few as one or as many as six students. Do you know some people who might be interested? Feel free to form your own team and start preparing now! Do you want to participate but you're not sure how to form a team? Stay tuned for more information about prep sessions at Bard and we will help you form a team.

Want to hear more about the Purple Comet! Math Meet? We will be sending out more information later in the month. Click the link at the bottom of this email that says "update subscription preferences" and make sure you have "Math Competitions" checked off under the "I am interested in" heading.

 

C.A.M.P. Summer 2016



Are you a middle student (grades 5-8) looking for an engaging and exciting mathematical experience this summer? Look no further! The Bard Creative Analytical Math Program (C.A.M.P.) will be held from August 22-26, 2016. Registration will launch in late March or early April.

Want to hear more about the C.A.M.P? We will be sending out more information later this month. Click the link at the bottom of this email that says "update subscription preferences" and make sure you have "Summer C.A.M.P" checked off under the "I am interested in" heading. In the meantime, check out the American Math Society and the Art of Problem Solving lists for more math camps you can attend this summer.

 

In the News!


The March 2016 issue of The Atlantic magazine featured an article called "The Math Revolution" about advanced mathematics and enrichment for American teens. This article is about YOU, the members of the Bard Math Circle who participate in mathematical enrichment every month! Check it out! Look for a shout-out to Bard College within discussion of BEAM (Bridge to Enter Advanced Mathematics), a summer camp which happens at Bard every summer.


Happy March!


Bard Math Circle