Instructor: Ted Alpher
Director, Stanford Math Circle
Lead Mathematics Instructor, Online High School of Stanford University
Theodore Alper has worked at Education Program for Gifted Youth for the past 16 years as an instructor in secondary mathematics, university mathematics, and java programming. He was the head coach for the San Francisco Bay Area teams in the American Regions Mathematics League from 1995-2006, coaching them to four national championships. He founded the Polya Mathematics Competition, which ran at Stanford in the 1990s, has been an instructor at the Berkeley Math Circle, and is the current director of the Stanford Math Circle. He is the author of papers on foundations of measurement in mathematical psychology and a coauthor of papers on the use of technology in mathematics education.
His awards include the Samuel Greitzer Distinguished Coaching Award from the American Regions Mathematics League, the Edith May Sliffe award for distinguished middle school mathematics teaching from the Mathematical Association of America, and the Young Investigator of the Year Award from the Society for Mathematical Psychology.
Mr. Alper’s undergraduate degree in mathematics is from Harvard University, and he has an M.S. in mathematics from Stanford University.
Instructor: Philip Yasskin
Associate Professor at Texas A&M University; Founder and Co-director of TAMU Math Circle
Phil Yasskin is the Associate Professor of Mathematics at Texas A&M University.
He runs the Summer Educational Enrichment in Math (SEE-Math) program for gifted middle school students, and is the founder of TAMU Math Circle. Phil has obtained multiple awards on his excellent works for K-12 outreach program, and he also works on a National Science Foundation Program to support school teachers on Science and Math.
His research and scholarly interests include:
Applications of Computer Algebra Systems
Technology in STEM Education
Enhancement of K-12 Education
Outreach to K-12 Education
This class will utilize techniques from US-style Math Circles and Julia Robinson Math Festivals to explore topics in mathematics outside the standard curriculum.
Math Circles stress collaboration, abstract reasoning and generalization -- essential skills for higher mathematics -- over rote memorization and competition. Students will work on open-ended problems that develop mathematical insight and the ability to communicate mathematical ideas to one another. In the process, they will learn techniques of proof (contradiction, induction, etc.) and for finding a proof (simplify the problem, work backwards, etc.).
Students will also be trained to serve as table-leaders for a larger Julia Robinson Math Festival to be held on the last day of class, guiding other students in their own explorations.