Special Sessions

The following special sessions are being organized as part of the contributed program.  The organizer(s) for each session have discretion over the content. If you would like to have a paper which you are submitting as part of the General Papers session(s) considered for included in one of the following special sessions, please contact the organizer(s) by March 15.  

Math Circles & Math Teachers’ Circles: Mathematical Problem Solving for Students and Teachers 

Organizer: David Scott (scott@pugetsound.edu)

A Math Circle is a gathering of students and mathematicians engaged in mathematical problem solving.  Math Circles are relatively new in the United States but are an established institution in some countries in Europe.  Hosting and supporting a Math Circle is one way a community can contribute to raising the mathematics proficiency of its youth.  Math Teachers’ Circles are Math Circles for math teachers of grades K to 12.  

There are a variety of ways a Math Circle can be organized.  They have been held on college campuses and in the target community; some work with fourth graders, others with high school students; some focus on students who are well above grade level in mathematics, others target the general student.  What is consistent in a Math Circle is that the mathematics presented is interesting and challenging.  The overriding objective is to build greater student interest and proficiency in mathematics.  

This session will demonstrate some of the problems and pedagogy in good problem solving that is the hallmark of a Math Circle.  It will present resources for those interested in exploring Math Circles, and will show how Math Circles and Math Teachers’ Circles can be effective in a number of different settings.


Organizers: Mary Riegel (riegelmj@mso.umt.edu) and Jenny McNulty (McNulty@mso.umt.edu)

Games can be fun to play and interesting to analyze mathematically. They can be used in the classroom to get students’ attention while tangentially introducing a new topic.  Even for very familiar games, there are many open questions still to answer.  This session provides an opportunity to explore many aspects of games and the mathematical theory associated with them.  Talks ranging from a formal analysis of combinatorial games, to the use of existing games to explore mathematical structures, to ways to incorporate the study of games into instruction are invited. 

Accommodations for Students with Low-Incidence Disabilities in College Mathematics
Organizer: Paul Krouss (pkrouss@vancouver.wsu.edu)
With a few weeks' notice, I learned I would have a blind student in my second semester calculus course. A new experience both for my campus and for me, we found it necessary to be creative (and act quickly) in order to accommodate this motivated student.
Students with low-incidence disabilities present a special challenge in almost any course, and the complexity of providing such accommodations for a university math student may be amplified. To complicate matters, we are sometimes asked to do this with little or no advanced notice. This session will explore solutions and best practices for accommodating students with low-incidence disabilities in mathematics.