Middle and high school students can learn complex mathematical concepts in a new, fun way at Vanderbilt University. The Nashville Math Club launches Monday, Jan. 14.
Larry Rolen, assistant professor of mathematics, and Mark Sapir, centennial professor of mathematics, co-direct the free club that meets on Mondays from 5 - 7 p.m. in Stevenson Center Room 1308.
"Learning to thing like a mathematician involves noticing patterns and solving puzzles. It is a universal skill," says Rolen. "You don't just learn to solve the problems you are focused on. You are trained to learn to think and problem-solve. Kids who don't currently like math might like this," he adds.
BEYOND TYPICAL MATH EQUATIONS
The Nashville Math Club will offer hands-on activities like learning the geometry of bubbles or recognizing the math behind various shapes or origami. Furthermore, students will gain computer coding experience.
Math clubs of this nature are popular in Eastern Europe, where Sapir spent his childhood. He says the more creative and flexible approach to math was a benefit to him.
The creative nature of these types of clubs or "math circles" has fostered their popularity across the United States in recent years. Mathematicians view math clubs as a way to enhance ingenuity and help students see the beauty of numbers.
"We hope to provide that same creative atmosphere for young students in Nashville and to attract students from groups underrepresented in the STEM fields," says Sapir.
APPLY BY JAN. 10
Students who want to participate in Nashville Math Club need to apply online by Thursday, Jan. 10. To apply, click HERE.