Robinson Center Class Registration Open Today!

March 12, 2012

We are expanding our class offerings at the Robinson Center, with Saturday classes now available for students K-11. Registration opened today, and these classes have a way of filling up fast!

Registration and class info is here: The math classes we’re responsible for are below. There are also Saturday writing classes.

Spring Courses

Grades K-1 and Parents

Nurturing the Math Instinct:  A Parent-Child Adventure in Mathematics
We are all born with the capacity to love mathematics. This class explores how to cultivate a child’s innate interest in mathematics by creating a culture of mathematics at home. Through puzzles and games that capture the quality of play in math, we’ll learn how to think creatively, support each other, and keep the spark of joy alive and well in our mathematical lives.

This class is designed to engage both kids and parents. Each child will register and attend with one or two parents, and the classes will be divided between discussions with the parents about how to encourage their child’s interest in mathematics, and time spent learning new games and puzzles that can be played at home.

Time: 10:00-10:50 am
Instructor: Katherine Cook

Grades K-1

Games, Puzzles, and Play
In this course, we will explore games and puzzles, both new and old, that tap into mathematical ways of thinking. The emphasis will be on creative play and adapting games and puzzles to players’ interests. We will play group games, ask questions, play with ideas, and have fun!

Time: 11:00-11:50 am
Instructor: Katherine Cook

Grades 2-3

Hip to be Square
The square numbers (1, 4, 9, 16, 25, …) are one of the most amazing sequences in mathematics. In this class, we’ll explore puzzles and problems related to squares and square numbers, from extraordinary geometric constructions (how can you double a square?) to arithmetic astonishments (why is 1+2+3+4+3+2+1 = 4 x 4 = 1+3+5+7?).

By the end, we’ll have laid down many of the fundamentals of area, scaling, and number patterns, and gotten a glimpse of the beautiful interplay between geometry and arithmetic.

Section A: 10:00-10:50 am
Section B: 11:00-11:50 am
Instructor: Daniel Finkel

Games and Strategy
Games are everywhere. We love to play them and we love to win, but we don’t always know how to win. In this class, we’ll use mathematical insights to deconstruct a range of games and puzzles. We’ll learn new games, play them in class, and then develop different strategies that help us master them. Bring your enthusiasm for play!

Section A: Girls Only, 12:30-1:20 pm
Section B: 1:30-2:20 pm
Section C: 2:30-3:20 pm
Instructor: Katherine Cook

Grades 6-8

Counting for Experts
Counting is at the heart of mathematics, and advanced counting (or combinatorics) is the place to find some of the most elegant and powerful problems in mathematics. In this class, we’ll learn how experts count. Topics include:

  • Double Counting
  • Permutations and Combinations
  • Pascal’s Triangle
  • Fibonacci Numbers
  • The Pigeonhole Principle

By the end of the class, we’ll be able to prove that two people in New York have the same number of hairs on their head, that there are more games of chess than particles in the known universe, and why two powers of 10 must differ by a multiple of 2012.

Some exposure to algebra is recommended.

Section A: 12:30-1:20 pm
Section B: 1:30-2:20 pm
Instructor: Daniel Finkel

Grades 9-11

High School Combinatorics
In this project- and presentation-centric class, students will pose and solve tough mathematical questions from combinatorics, or advanced counting. We’ll start with fundamentals of the subject–permutations and combinations, Pascal’s triangle, and the pigeonhole principle–and branch into beautiful examples of recursion and elegant counting. Potential topics include the towers of Hanoi, generating functions and partitions, Fibonacci numbers and the golden mean, and more.

This class will challenge the most advanced high school students, but will be accessible to any student with a firm grasp of algebra and an interest in math.

Time: 2:30 – 3:20 pm
Instructor: Dan Finkel

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