Park City Mathematics Institute
Secondary School Teacher Program

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Reasoning from Data and Chance
Exploring Discrete Math
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Visualizing Functions
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Ning: PCMI 2011


July 5 5-minute madness presentation - Jim King

Jim presented Alphabet Soup: download it as a QuickTime movie (827k).

July 6 Results of the Fathom survey - Bill Thill

Bill presented an overview of Fathom® Dynamic Data.

July 7 Tour - Carol Hattan

Carol gave a brief overview of the PCMI@MathForum site using the Getting Started page.

July 7 Livescribe Pen - Cal Armstrong

It is possible to create instructional or assessment videos (like the Khan Academy) using tools like Smartboards or Jing (screen capture software). The Livescribe pen is an inexpensive (<$100) way to bring the power of digital media to a simple pen. By recording both the audio and video of student or teacher work written on actual paper, a more expansive space is opened up for mathematical conversation. The desktop software, available for both PC and Mac allows the mathematics videos to be uploaded and shared easily. Once uploaded, the handwritten notes are indexed and transcribed.

July 8 Two Sites to Share - Kate Nowak

Kate demonstrated:
    GoodQuestion Project
    Poll Everywhere

July 11 University of Washington Credit Process - Jim King

PCMI participants can sign up for 6 quarter credits of Math 497 from the University of Washington. Jim King explained the University of Washington credit process. Read more here: FAQ page (on Jim King's University of Washington website) and also download this Information Sheet [PDF format]

July 12 PDO Leaders - Jim, Darryl, Brynja, & Brian

Jim King, Darryl Yong, Brynja Kohler, and Brian Hopkins will talk about their Professional Development and Outreach Groups.

July 14 MoMath - Timon Holman

The Museum of Mathematics (MoMath) is slated to open in the fall of 2012. The museum building has been secured and the planning of exhibits is well underway. In addition, MoMath sponsors Math Encounters - a series of monthly lectures by top mathematicians that are designed for the general public. In June I brought 5 of my students to the Encounter, "Soap Bubbles & The Mathematics of Minimal Surfaces." My students really enjoyed the experience (as did I). The Encounters are available over the internet. MoMath also has a traveling exhibit called the "Math Midway" which travels around the country. It will be at the Liberty Science Center in New Jersey this fall. I was lucky enough to attend some planning meetings and to have been one of a group of teachers who provided feedback on proposed exhibits. Lastly, MoMath is accepting memberships so all of us can join this great new endeavor.

July 15 Build Your Own Blocks - Tina Cardone

Many of you may remember Logo, the basic programming software with the cute little turtle that draws lines which can quickly turn into fantastic designs. MIT took Logo and updated it into a more powerful and kid friendly program called Scratch. Berkeley took that program and transformed it into an even more powerful program called Build Your Own Blocks (BYOB for short, but they will be changing the name to Snap next month though). This program allows students an easy entry into computer programming which emphasizes precision and logic.
Free to download:

July 18 Using PCMI Site for Public Access - Suzanne Alejandre

Suzanne gave an overview of the resources available for public viewing from the SSTP Site and more!

July 19 Zach Korzyk's Free Website - Sarah Lewis

Summary: is a free website that allows teachers to assign homework to students to reinforce important concepts and skills. There are 250 types of problems and counting that are generated algorithmically allowing the students to get unlimited practice. The teacher can assign a student to get a certain number of problems correct in a row to ensure mastery. The website will grade the students automatically and can calculate partial late credit based on due dates. The grade data and student problem logs are easily viewable. To create a teacher account visit:

The creator, Zach Korzyk, a former PCMI participant, is constantly adding new material.

July 20 Textbooks: A Scaffold for Teachers - Marcelle Good

Marcelle talked about some (excellent) textbooks as scaffolds for teachers. View/download Marcelle's presentation as: PDF || HTML || PPTX

July 20 Math Jigsaw Puzzles - Blue Taylor

Blue gave out one of his puzzles and participants tried to solve it. View this page to download the files Blue is sharing with us.

July 21 The Path to Erehwyna - Craig Russell

Craig presented an investigation of geometric series in the complex plane, rather than with just real numbers. It turns out that the algebra is the same, and the sum of the geometric series is the same (start term/(1-r)), provided the common ratio has a magnitude less than one. But what does a convergent geometric series look like? Those familiar with DeMoivre's theorem could easily decide on the geometry of a geometric sequence: it's a spiral, with subsequent terms rotated by the argument of the complex common ratio, and magnitudes growing (or shrinking) exponentially with the magnitude of the common ratio. Thus, a geometric series in the plane will just shift the spiral. It's kind of neat to look at, and some interesting questions about group theory come into play when investigating geometric series where the common ratio has a magnitude of 1 but an argument that is relatively prime to pi.

Craig explained that he has used this activity with gifted Algebra 2 students, who graphed by hand on paper. He has also used a spreadsheet and Mathematica implementations, and might be able to put something together with Sketchpad.

July 22 Overview of PCMI@MathForum - Suzanne Alejandre

Once you return home, start here: and click on Secondary School Teachers Program.

July 22 Kitchen Table 5-Minute Short - Steve Phelps, Cincinnati, OH

Steve presents to us remotely: Complex Cubics, Triangles, and the Steiner Inellipse and here are his zipped files.

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© 2001 - 2015 Park City Mathematics Institute
IAS/Park City Mathematics Institute is an outreach program of the Institute for Advanced Study, 1 Einstein Drive, Princeton, NJ 08540.
Send questions or comments to: Suzanne Alejandre and Jim King

With major funding from Math for America

With generous support from Robert and Lynn Johnston