Just 5 minutes ago, I was taking a refreshing cold shower — because it’s too dang hot! And as best ideas are wont to come when paper and pencil are not around, I stumbled upon, in the rambling brambles of my nonlinear thought process, exactly what my summer project is going to be.
A little background first. The museum of math has had a series of math lectures (Math Encounters) this year, and so far I’ve been to all of them. They are delivered by people with grand speaking skills and on topics which are fascinating and excite the imagination. You can watch the first one (that they’ve put online) here:
I have decided I am going to try to come up with 3 lectures that I’m going to give in the first semester to students at my school. I’m thinking these are going to be after school things for anyone interested, and honestly, I will probably only get a couple teachers and a couple students to come. But it will be a fun lark for me this summer.
To be clear, I’m not talking about a workshop or problem solving sessions or anything super interactive. I’m actually thinking straight up lecture (with maybe some audience participation).
I’m excited enough about the idea that I think I will probably follow through on it. And so I thought I’d share the idea here, in case I can get others interested in doing the same. Anyone out there interested in doing it? I don’t think it would make sense for us to work together on the actual lectures, but I do think bandying about ideas for possible fun and high school accessible lecture topics could be superfun.
Just off the top of my head right now I have a few ideas: continued fractions, Farey sequences, the violent and sordid history of mathematics [I’d have to do some fun research on this one], topology, etc. Oooh! Coming up with good lecture titles will be EXTRA FUN!
My secret hope is that this is something that widens the scope of what kids think “math” is. I had that happen to me when I went to math camp in high school, where I was treated to so many amazing lectures on so many weird and fun topics that I saw the huge scope of math and saw the beauty even more piercingly than I had when exploring it on my own.