# The Harmony Learning Community Blog

News, Updates, Program Recaps, and Homeschooling Information

### NEW COURSES AND SCHEDULES for Math Circle

Due to popular demand, we are offering courses on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons this year, for ages 5-18.  Expect an announcement any day now for registration.  Here's the course info:

COMPASS ART
What do Michelangelo, Bernini, Zarah Hussein, feng shui practitioners, mapmakers, architects, astronomers, and mathematicians have in common? They all use compasses to construct and deconstruct circles.  We’ll create our own compass art while learning about basic circle geometry and some math history.  (Each student should bring a compass, sketch pad, and pencils.)

Approximate Recommended Ages 9-11

6 weeks, 9/17-10/20

3:30-4:30 THURSDAYS, Cope House

WHAT IS MATH?

Why didn’t anyone tell us that math is not just counting and adding numbers, that arithmetic is just a tiny piece of math?  In this course, we’ll use drama, movement, manipulatives, and crayons to try to figure out what math is, and to attempt to solve an unsolved problem in mathematics.

Approximate Recommended Ages 5-6

6 weeks, 10/27-12/8 (no class 11/3)

3:30-4:30 TUESDAYS, Garden Classroom

CANTOR

We’ll examine the life and work of this revolutionary mathematician once called a “corrupter of youth.”  Come and have your teens corrupted with Georg Cantor’s ideas: set theory (a concept that seems fundamental and even obvious today); his most famous proof; and more.  Cantor’s life story is sad because of his struggle with mental illness. In discussing his personal story, we’ll question (1) the stereotype that the most successful mathematicians are somehow unbalanced, and (2) the apocryphal “math gene.”

Approximate Recommended Ages 14-18

6 weeks, 1/5-2/9

3:30-4:30 TUESDAYS, Cope House

PARITY

The basic definition of parity is this:  a property of a number that describes whether it is even or odd.  Sounds simple and obvious, right?  But parity has implications that are bigger in mathematics and science:  alternating groups, or a way of putting things into 2 distinct groups.  We will play games that depend upon this concept as a strategy in hopes of ending the course with a true conceptual understanding (vs. rote memorization) of parity.  I suspect that the students will lead this discussion into how parity is related to infinity (is it even or odd, is it even a number?), as most Talking Stick math circles with this age group have done.

Approximate Recommended Ages 7-8

6 weeks, 3/3-4/14 (no class 3/24)

3:30-4:30 THURSDAYS, Garden Classroom

OPEN QUESTIONS

At an age when some kids feel disenfranchised from mathematics while others feel empowered by it, we will collaboratively attempt to solve currently unsolved (“open”) questions.  The students will be essentially working mathematicians, with the stated hope of making some progress toward a solution and the unstated hope of experiencing joy in mathematics.

Approximate Recommended Ages 11-14

6 weeks, 4/21-5/26

3:30-4:30 THURSDAYS, Cope House