I love math.

I had a great teacher in high school who inspired me to see true beauty in the mathematics that we were doing. He pushed me to become a math major in college. I didn’t know yet that I wanted to become a teacher, but I knew that with a math degree, I could really get any job that I wanted. At UC Berkeley, I learned some incredible mathematics under some of the best mathematics professors this country has to offer. College was an amazing experience that I could go on and on about. Not only did I get the chance to study what I loved (both Mathematics and a field new to me called Ethnic Studies), I studied it with people who had the same passions as I did and made friends with people I will treasure forever.

Look at some of the links I have for you, I hope that they inspire you to look at math in different (and sometimes fun!) ways and that math is something that can challenge your brain and support your success.

*Cryptography and Secret Messages - Fields of math called number theory and combinatorics can be used to create secret, nearly-unbreakable codes. They can use math concepts as simple as prime numbers (a number that has two factors, 1 and itself) to create codes used by secret agencies like the CIA!

*Fractals - Everything from simply beautiful designs to many many things in nature, all the way to fully CGI scenes in Star Wars can be explained through the mathematical concept of fractals. See how modern mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot escaped Nazi occupation to influence many major, modern developments at IBM, LucasArts, and Pixar, or create your own fractal work of art!

*Fermat’s Last Theorem - An extremely famous, very old (400 years) problem that was scribbled in the margins of an old book by a genius mathematician. It was proven in 1984 by a Princeton professor, Andrew Wiles (who mentored one of my college professors!)

*Donut & Coffee Mug - Did you know that a donut and a coffee cup are very very similar in the mathematical field of topology? In fact, they are something called “homeomorphic” which describes the relationship between the two. Imagine molding a coffee cup out of clay. Without creating any new holes, and only stretching and mushing, you can create the shape of a donut - this, essentially, is homeomorphism.

*Millennium Problems (The Million Dollar Math Problems) - You can win a MILLION DOLLARS from the Clay Math Institute for correctly solving one of the 7 famous “Millennium Problems”. One was actually solved recently, and the mathematician didn’t claim his prize! Check out this exciting contest!

*Knot Theory - A section of mathematics that relates to the forming of knots on a rope. A UC Berkeley professor, Vaughan Jones (my multivariable calculus professor!) won the Field’s Medal for his “Jones Polynomial” in the field of Knot Theory!

*Gabriels Horn - A famous math problem where you can have something like an ice cream cone and fill it up with ice cream, but you can never find enough paint to paint the inside!

Problem of the Month

      How can you get everyone across before the bomb detonates?
      Pasted Graphic