The Talking Stick Blog

News, Updates, Program Recaps, and Homeschooling Information

Reducing Human Trafficking through Math

Middle-school Math Circle students use graph theory to examine the problem of human trafficking.

Caucusing and the Four-Color Theorem

(January 30, 2020) Last week I made up a silly example of laws about dairy-product usage and decided today that I’m just going to run with it. “Suppose that your state is going to vote for a leader and that all citizens and candidates only care about one issue: the law that you can keep dairy products in your refrigerator…

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“Waggy, Do You Eat Meat?” (Some Basic Tenets of Mathematics)

(September 20 and 27, 2018) On a particular island, every inhabitant (puppet) is either a knight, who always tells the truth, or a liar, who always lies. Which puppet is a liar? Which one a knight? You can either listen to their statements, or ask them questions. “What’s a statement?” asked A immediately. And our first session was off and…

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The Stable Marriage Problem (Gale Shapley Algorithm)

(October 2, 2017) I discovered this problem and was so excited – my students would love it, it directly tied in to the topic of our course, and it was a good example of a mathematical algorithm that all of the students would have sufficient math background to work. I wanted to do it right away, so I discarded my…

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PROVING STUFF: Mathematical Thinking with Five-Year-Olds, 3.0

CLOCK JUMPING – SELF-DOUBT, LOOKING FOR PATTERNS (April 1, 2014) Things started out smoothly enough.  The clock was taped to the floor, and the kids were ready to jump on it.  Will you land on every number if you count by four?  They did this without me, and added a new approach:  everyone started on a different number, and half…

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Mathematical Thinking with Five-Year-Olds, 1.0

Mathematical Thinking with Five-Year-Olds, 1.0 (March 18, 2014)  When I arrived for today’s session, some of the 5-year-olds were already there, bounding with excitement having spied on their older siblings in Math Circle over the past few years.  Now it was their turn, and they were owning it already.  They chose the room, chose the chairs, set up the chairs,…

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