Carroll Wells Visits the VAMPY Math Classes

Today, Dr. Carroll Wells came to speak with the mathematics classes at VAMPY. Currently, Dr. Wells is department chair at Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN. The talk began by mentioning Euclid, The Elements, geometry, and calculus. He then introduced the main focus of his talk, topology. Wolfram MathWorld says “is the mathematical study of the properties […]

Magically Miraculous Math: Day 9

Today we gave presentations about various math topics ranging from the Rubik’s cube to a torus. We discussed the idea that a coffee mug is topologically “equivalent” to a donut (see image to the left). We also discussed $latex \pi$ and $\latex \tau$. We learned why some mathematicians argue that $latex \pi$ is wrong (see […]

Magically Miraculous Math: Day 8

Today we wrote letters to mathematicians. Each student chose a different living mathematician to ask questions. I will email those questions to the mathematicians and compile the responses after camp. A list of the mathematicians is below. Students also chose a mathematical concept to research and will present their findings in class tomorrow. Mary Rees […]

Magically Miraculous Math: Day 7

Today we talked about number systems. We examined the Mayan, Egyptian, and Greek numbers and tried to guess what they represented and why. Afterwards, we created our own systems and shared with the class what they meant. We also talked about the various types of numbers (complex, real, rational, irrational, integers, natural numbers, etc.). Prime […]

Magically Miraculous Math: Days 5 and 6

Things around camp have been very busy. On Friday, the students presented their presentations about mathematicians in history. One of the deepest conversations came from the presentations about Felix Klein. He invented the Klein bottle (seen to the left) which is a closed nonorientable surface of Euler characteristic 0 (Dodson and Parker 1997, p. 125) that has no inside or outside, […]