Welcome to the WMMC!

We will be running four events open to teachers in the community in April 2019. These events run from 4:30 - 6:30pm and are free to attend. Dinner will be provided. If you would like to attend please rsvp to info@westernmassmathcircle.org space is limited.

  • Wednesday April 3rd, 2019
    • Speaker: Dr. Axel Brandt, Northern Kentucky University
    • Title: Superpermutations to the Rescue
    • Description: Participants will explore the quickest way to check all possibilities for a forgotten 4-digit garage door code. Based on our explorations, we will make conjectures about longer garage door codes and discuss ongoing mathematical research on this question.
    • Location: Westfield State University, Wilson Hall, Room 319
  • Wednesday April 10th, 2019
    • Speaker: Dr. Philip DeOrsey and Dr. Brian Jennings
    • Title: Can you Spot It!?
    • Description: Participants will engage with the game Spot It! and explore the connections to combinatorics and projective geometry. We will use mathematics to create our own Spot It! games which will lead us to an open problem in mathematics.
    • Location: Westfield State University, Wilson Hall, Room 319
  • Thursday April 18th, 2019
    • Speaker: Mr. Corey Pooler, Westfield State University
    • Topic: Mathematical Zendo
    • Description: Participants will play the game Zendo in which players compete against each other in order to figure out a secret rule kept by the leader of the game. Participants will use problem solving strategies and critical thinking skills in order to deduce the rule that fits for the structures given. We will then explore Mathematical Zendo, a game that has been created with the purpose of adapting Zendo to a variety of mathematical concepts.
    • Location: Westfield State University, Wilson Hall, Room 418
  • Thursday April 25th, 2019
    • Speakers: Dr. Philip DeOrsey and Dr. Christine Von Renesse, Westfield State University
    • Topic: Using Islamic geometry to explore faculty and student creativity
    • Description: Participants will create Islamic geometric patterns and study the underlying mathematics. Specifically we will see connections to ruler and compass constructions, as well as tessellations. We invite participants to be creative, not only in their mathematical reasoning but also in creating original pieces of art inspired by Islamic geometry.
    • Location: Westfield State University, Wilson Hall, Room 418

Past Events

  • March 6, 2019

Today we expanded on Zendo and explored the world of Numbers Zendo. We saw rules about prime numbers, squares, and even ordered pairs! An impressive showing from the students.

  • February 13, 2019

Cancelled due to weather.

  • February 6, 2019

One pile, two pile, three piles! We explored the mathematics behind Nim and strategies for us to take the last stone and win the game.

  • December 5 and 6, 2018

For these events we explored mathematical origami, using one cut for various mathematical shapes, and experiencing butterfly bombs. How exciting!

  • November 14 and 15, 2018

Our new students had never seen Zendo so we revisited the game to exciting results. Several students were able to become the Zendo master and lead us in our activities.

  • October 24 and November 1, 2018

During these events we explored the wonderful world of Islamic Geometry. Students determined how to draw different geometric shapes and create their own tiles! What can you create?

  • May 2 and 9, 2018

Our intern for the semester, Corey Pooler, took over for these two weeks and led an exploration around the Euler characteristic. Planes, spheres, and tori ... oh my!

  • April 4 and 11, 2018

Our activities this week tested our deductive reasoning skills through the game of Zendo. Can you deduce the hidden rule and become the Zendo master!?

  • March 14, 2018

We celebrated pi day in style by exploring the game Prime Climb and thinking about prime factorizations. Happy pi day!

  • February 14, 2018

For Valentines day we had special valentine themed activities. We worked through Mobius hearts, and moved on to work with modular arithmetic seeing how we could draw a cardioid heart on a clock!

  • December 12 and 14, 2017

We had a special guest this week when Dr. Daniel Schultheis came to visit us from Smith College. He brought us an interesting picture hanging activity where we actually want pictures to fall off the wall!

  • November 14 and 16, 2017

This week we ventured into the world of origami and tried to determine which shapes we could cut out of paper with one straight cut! Can you cut out the scalene triangle?

  • October 10 and 12, 2017

This week for our math circle we participated in Global Math Week! We had fun exploding dots and learning about different based number systems. If you are interested you can see more exploding dots here.

  • September 12 and 14, 2017

Math Circles have kicked off for the 2017 school year and we began by exploring the games Chomp! and Taxman. Can you find a strategy to beat these games?!

  • June 5, 2017

Our final event of the school year had us outside shooting off stomp rockets! We had a lot of great designs and lost some rockets on the roof of the school. Have a great Summer!

  • May 15, 2017

This month we investigated the game Spot It! and tried to create our own Spot It! games. Can you create a Spot it game with 13 symbols on every card?

  • April 24, 2017

In the month of April we explored the area of combinatorics through counting how many fist bumps we could have in a group of people. We found a formula and related it to adding up consecutive integers!

  • March 20, 2017

This event was held at North Middle School and we explored logic through classic knights and knaves problems. Can you tell who is a knight and who is a knave?

  • February 27, 2017

Our first official math circle event was held at North Middle School and we worked on cryptography discovering several new ways to encode secret messages.

  • January 14, 2017

Our second kickoff event was also held at Westfield State University and we worked on dissecting Mobius bands and some game theory.

  • December 3, 2016

Our first kickoff event! We met at Westfield State University in the new science building and worked on some graph theory and straight cut origami.