Back-to-school announcements from the EHS Math Department

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By Cynthia Chin
East High School

Celebrating our students: Congratulations to the following members of the Class of 2017 who were recognized in June as outstanding seniors in mathematics: Mika Hoechrel, Kate Jasenksi, Jonah Jossart and David Kwong.

Do you want to make a difference?
Community members who can assist East students at any level of mathematics are welcome as volunteers. To assist a student one-on-one in algebra or geometry, use the Achievement Connections direct email at achievementconnections.east@gmail.com. Contact Cynthia Chin 204-1603 ext. 41534 or cchin@madison.k12.wi.us to inquire about volunteer placements in the classroom or assisting students with advanced coursework.

East juniors and seniors who tutor during a free period can razzle dazzle their prospective colleges, not to mention learn a lot about mathematics and the career of teaching, with a one-semester daily commitment as a mathematics teaching assistant. Earn either Service E credit as a volunteer or elective credit toward graduation. See your counselor to sign up for this independent study option. If you don’t have a specific teacher’s class in mind, ask Ms. Brown or Ms. Chin about classes with anticipated need.

Note: Volunteer opportunities in mathematics and other subject areas can be viewed on the school website and at volunteeryourtime.org (find: opportunity; search by: agency; agency: Madison East High School). Listings will be updated in September for the 2017-18 academic year.

Do you have a graphing calculator? Need one?
Information about graphing calculator purchase or rental (a math club subsidized program) is available at registration and from teachers during the first weeks of school. Obtaining a calculator at the very beginning of the year is strongly recommended so students can keep pace with progressive instruction in how to use this tool effectively. If you own one, protect your investment — mark it permanently with your name and record the serial number from the back. Do not leave calculators unattended.

Math Club: Watch for announcements about meetings. We will be very busy with math competitions and fundraisers to support the calculator rental fund. You can become part of this East tradition. New members are welcome at all grade levels.

Engineering Club: Along with its UW affiliates — National Society of Black Engineers, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Engineers Without Borders — the East Engineering Club welcomes students of all backgrounds to explore engineering as a career path or just as something fun to try. We enter competitions, support each other academically and conduct science outreach programs at middle and elementary schools in the East attendance area. We hope to attend a showing of the engineering IMAX film “Dream Big” this fall (dreambigfilm.com), either locally or in conjunction with a visit to industry sites in Milwaukee. Outreach work this year will focus on robotics, programming and biological systems engineering. The latter will be new experience for us, connected with the World Food Prize organization and mentoring from the UW-Madison College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Watch for announcements about early events in September and October. Contact Ms. Chin or any club member for information about joining us.

First Tech Challenge: Arrangements are being made for our robotics team to get an early start on its second year of competition. Interested students should provide their names and contact information as soon as possible to Engineering Club president Liam Braddock, wobraddo@gmail.com.

Math Modeling Team: Students interested in applying mathematical thinking and tools to complex, open-ended societal, economic or scientific problems are invited to check out East’s Mathematical Modeling Team. Creative thinking and technical writing skill are keys to success in this form of competition and you will improve in these areas if you give the team a try. Look here for problems from previous years: comap.com/highschool/contests and m3challenge.siam.org/problem. Team preparations begin in late September for contests in November and February. We will also be investigating year-round affiliation with the recently created Association of Computational and Mathematical Modeling (AoCMM.org). Math teachers will announce how to sign up. If you’d like an early start experimenting with some open source modeling software, send your contact information to Ms. Chin, cchin@madison.k12.wi.us.

Women in STEM: The group began meeting weekly at the end of last year to provide young women at East a regular forum for career exploration, collaborative activities and guest presentations by professionals in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Watch for announcements as to time and place in the coming school year. See Mr. Arnold for more information about the goals and activities of the club.

Opportunities at UW-Madison: A noncompetitive program for high school women, Girls’ Math Night Out offers a one-semester series of weekly meetings for discussion of science careers with female faculty and graduate students, plus a guided research experience in mathematics. Investigations range from intriguing puzzles to cutting-edge applications and are selected to fit the background of each participant; students at all levels of experience are eligible to apply. For current program information, contact Professor Tullia Dymarz, dymarz@math.wisc.edu, or visit math.wisc.edu/wimm.

Any student in grades 7‒12 who has completed or is enrolled in Algebra 1 may attend the early evening Math Circle Talks sponsored by the UW-Madison Mathematics Department. Parents and guardians are also welcome. Past subjects have included coin flipping, taffy making, secret codes from WWII and origami. There is almost always a game, puzzle or hands-on activity involved. Visit the department’s math wiki for the 2017-2018 schedule, math.wisc.edu/wiki/index.php/Madison_Math_Circle. There will likely be one or two “matinee” presentations from the Math Circle scheduled for Monday afternoons at East during the fall semester. Watch for announcements at school.