18 January, 2013
Volume 18 No. 3
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In This Issue

Winter Fermi Math League

Toshiba America Foundation Grants

Call for Speakers: HPM-Americas Meeting


Online PD

Orientation Sessions

Problem Based Learning Courses

Graduate Credit:
Mathematics Teaching and Learning Certificate

Master's Degree


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Winter Fermi Math League


Do you like to measure, estimate, and play around with technology? Then join the Fermi Off-the-Wall Math League!

This Internet-based math competition welcomes students in grades 1-9 from around the world who seek enrichment, small group work, and creative, technology-rich experiences.

A Fermi question is posed with limited information given. For example,

  • How many water balloons would it take to fill grandma's bathtub?
  • How many cockroaches will fill the trunk of a VW Beetle?
  • How much fabric would it take to make a camo-suit for Moby Dick?
  • How many eggs would fit in the Trojan Horse's body?

Fermi questions require that students ask many more questions; emphasize process rather than "the" answer; demand communication and writing; and utilize estimation, rounding numbers and guesses.

Registration opened last week for the six-week Winter '13 season, which starts Tuesday, January 29th.

PoW taking place: math problem-solving moment of the week

"Claire W., from Wallingford Elementary School, starts off with a pretty bold statement. (Don't worry if you don't know why it's true — we'll learn more in Michael's solution below.) If you didn't notice this, no big deal. I didn't notice it until I was done solving the problem."
- Annie, commenting on the FunPoW's Latest Solution

Toshiba America Foundation Grants


Passionate about making mathematics more engaging for your students in grades 6-12? The Toshiba America Foundation is currently accepting applications for grants of more than $5,000.

See the Toshiba America Foundation site for past recipients, teacher resources, and more — and apply before the deadline of Friday, February 1st!

Now taking place: math education conversation of the day

"I did heed your advice and not look at your solution at all because Jussi (2nd reply on this thread) had already pointed out the mistake in my observation. As soon as I saw his point, we solved the problem and got the answer. I then read your reply to see that we had arrived at the same solution. Thank you for your generous help and caution. We grunt it out all the time, but missed a key observation that would have alleviated the situation."
- s, posted to the alt.math.undergrad.independent discussion

Call for Speakers: HPM-Americas Meeting


The Americas Section of History and Pedagogy of Mathematics (HPM) has set its annual meeting for March 1-3, 2013, at the United States Military Academy, West Point, NY. To register for the meeting — which includes a special visit to the United States Military Academy's rare book collections — download and follow the instructions on this Microsoft Word file:


HPM seek a variety of talks on the relation between the history and pedagogy of mathematics. Talks directly relevant to the use of the history of mathematics in mathematics classrooms are especially welcome, as are reports of studies relating history and pedagogy.

Send the title and abstract of your talk proposal, along with contact information, to fred.rickey@me.com by Friday, February 15th, 2013.


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