June 22, 2007
Volume 12 No. 25

In This Issue

Summer Problems of the Week

Summer Fermi Math



Summer Problems of the Week


From June through August, we are continuing to post problems every two weeks; and members may still submit solutions. We encourage teachers with class, school, or district subscriptions to take this opportunity to have their students do math all summer. Design and assign summer projects using the Current Problems or from a selection from the Problems of the Week Library.

We will have only a few volunteers doing mentoring; and our responses will otherwise be scaled back as we get ready for a new series of problems at the end of August. Check the calendar link on each PoW page for a full summer schedule.

Trial Class Accounts are available.


Summer Fermi Math


The Fermi Off-the-Wall Math League is an internet-based math competition appropriate for enrichment, small group work and individuals wanting creative, technology-rich experiences in the summer.

In its seventh year, the Fermi Math League is open to students world-wide. The four-week Summer '07 season of Fermi Math starts Tuesday, June 26.

Details of the program:

  • Cost: $30 per student per team
  • Students may work solo, or in teams up to four
  • Increased deadline flexibility in summer to accommodate summer travel and activity
  • Divisions for grades 1-2, 3-4, 5-7 plus 5-7 "web designer" division
  • All work done on internet via email
  • Model archive and rules available online
  • Grade 1/2 problems are "family math" oriented
  • Prizes: ribbons, certificates, fame



Sadie Bowman and Marc Gutman keep a blog of their performances in "Calculus: The Musical!" This comic "review" blend of sketch comedy, musical theatre, and lecture about the concepts and history of calculus emerged as a teaching tool from the classroom of Gutman, who "... found that setting formulas and rules to music helped his students learn and retain tricky information.

"'Maxima' and 'minima' is an abstract concept to a lot of us, but when sung as a rousing 'Can-Can' chorus, it's fun and easy to remember!" Using musical parodies that span genres from light opera to hip hop, Bowman and Gutman introduce and illuminate such concepts as limits, integration and differentiation, dramatizing some high points of calculus' history. Musical tributes reference The Beatles, Gilbert & Sullivan, Madonna, Petula Clark and Eminem.

Through the website book their act, check out their tour calendar, read critics' reviews, preview lyrics, purchase the audio CD, watch video, and more.

Also available at



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