Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival and AIM
The American Institute of Mathematics and the Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival are delighted to announce their new partnership, which will allow the Festival to significantly increase the number of its events nationwide and get more kids engaged with math.
Named after a noted professor at UC Berkeley, the Julia Robinson Mathematics Festivals show students a different, and more engaging, side of mathematics from what's typically presented in their classes at school. Festivals give students an opportunity to pursue mathematics collaboratively, working on problems and puzzles with other students and mathematicians.
AIM is the recipient of a five-year grant in the amount of $12.5 million from the National Science Foundation. This grant, which is part of the Mathematical Sciences Research Institutes program, will be used to support the participants of 100 workshops and 150 SQuaREs over the next 5 years.
"AIM is very pleased to be counted as one of the 8 NSF-funded math institutes in the U.S." said Executive Director Brian Conrey. Our innovative style of workshop has led to the development of some really interesting and important mathematics over the last five years. We are delighted with this vote of confidence from the National Science Foundation."
The SQuaREs program is a newer addition to the AIM programs. It supports teams of 4 researchers who have an ambitious three-year project. The team, or SQuaRE, visits AIM for an initial week to launch their project; they return a year later for a second week, and then get a third week amother year later. "The SQuaRE recipe really works", said Estelle Basor, AIM's Deputy Director who oversees the program. "The time-frame with the intense weeks followed by a long period to understand the ramifications of their work lead to really great results. The teams absolutely love this format!"
In addition to the research workshops and SQuaREs, AIM has pioneered the Math Teachers' Circle program. Math Teachers' Circles are communities of problem solvers populated by professional mathematicians and middle school math teachers who meet regularly to develop their skill and appreciation for the usefulness of mathematics as a logical basis for problem solving. This program, directed by AIM's Brianna Donaldson, features a website mathteacherscircle.org which is a significant resource for teachers and mathematicians alike. Nearly 50 Math Teachers' Circles nationwide have arisen as a result of AIM's efforts.
In the evaluation of the programs at AIM, NSF noted that AIM "plays a unique and valuable role within the US mathematical sciences research institutes," was impressed by "the commitment of AIM's staff to the institute's mission and methods" and was "uniformly impressed with AIM's commitment to diversity."
better browsing on the Web
The American Institute of Mathematics (AIM) is pleased to introduce a new tool to the world of web pages - the knowl. Like the familiar hyperlink, knowls can be used to provide relevant, supplementary information and are referenced from within the body of a web page. But unlike the hyperlink, which simply takes you to a new web page, the knowl conveniently serves up the information at your original location with the click of a mouse button. With a similar click, the knowl then disappears.
"The self-contained nature of knowls makes them useful in many different settings. They can be thought of as 'building blocks' that can be called upon when needed. I envision a time when the Internet has a repository of such knowls, reliable and ready to be referenced anywhere." says David Farmer, Director of Programs at AIM.
Knowls were developed to support research projects in advanced mathematics, but they can be easily incorporated to enhance any website. Knowls creator Harald Schilly noted, "The technology for knowls is at least 10 years old, and the theoretical basis, known as transclusion, is more than 50 years old. Our contribution is to provide an interface that fits the way people browse the Web today."
In addition to the examples in the paragraphs above, AIM has prepared a demonstration page with knowls for Rob Beezer's free textbook on Linear Algebra.
Read about how to add knowls to your own website
In June at AIM, teams of middle school teachers and mathematicians from around the U.S. participated in a workshop on "How to Run a Math Teachers' Circle." Math Teachers' Circles are groups of teachers and research mathematicians who meet regularly to work on mathematically rich problems. The intent is to develop teachers' mathematical problem-solving skills and confidence in approaching difficult problems while connecting them with the larger mathematical community.
One example of a Math Teachers' Circle problem is featured in this week's Numberplay blog by Gary Antonick on NYTimes.com. This particular type of problem, called a "Mad Vet" scenario, can be used to explore questions in abstract algebra and graph theory, as described in an article by Gene Abrams and Jessica K. Sklar that appeared in the June 2010 issue of Mathematics Magazine.
During this workshop, teams participated in example Math Teachers' Circle sessions and developed detailed plans for starting and sustaining their own Math Teachers' Circle. The participating teams were from Columbia, South Carolina; Eau Claire, Wisconsin; Greeley, Colorado; Richmond, Kentucky; San Diego, California; and Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Their new Math Teachers' Circles will begin meeting by Summer 2012.
The first Math Teachers' Circle began at AIM in 2006, and since then the series of "How to Run a Math Teachers' Circle" workshops has helped develop a network of 31 Math Teachers' Circles in 20 states. The Math Teachers' Circle Network, based at AIM, provides mathematical and logistical resources to this growing community.
In January, 2011, AIM brought together mathematicians, graduate students, and industry and public agency representatives to work on a variety of sustainability problems, including renewable energy, air quality, water management, and other environmental issues.
For more details, please see the announcement page.
The American Institute of Mathematics (AIM) has been awarded a grant from the Tellabs Foundation to support a workshop for middle school math teachers. The teachers will join the AIM Math Teachers' Circle, which connects teachers with mathematicians to work on mathematical problem solving.
Mathematicians from North America, Europe, Australia, and South America
have resolved the first one trillion cases of an
ancient mathematics problem. The advance was made possible by a
clever technique for multiplying large numbers.
The numbers involved are so enormous that
if their digits were written out
by hand they would stretch to the moon and back.
The biggest challenge was that these
could not even fit into the main memory of the available computers,
so the researchers had to
make extensive use of the computers' hard drives.