Remember to RSVP for our First Meeting of 2017!


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November 17th Recap: Taxicab Geometry

Have you ever wondered how emergency services determine the closest available vehicle for an emergency or cab companies determine the closest vehicle to pick up a waiting customer?  Because cities like Chicago are set up in a grid format, distances must be computed along streets and avenues rather than “as the crow flies.”  This problem creates the need for taxicab geometry.


A total of 18 participants worked on a variety of related problems, including the determination of the closer point to a desired location, the comparison of Euclidean and taxicab distances, and the determination of a “Taxicab circle.”  These regions must be polygonal to follow the grid pattern of streets and avenues.


Considerable discussion focused on the apparent value(s) for π and the determination of circular area in Taxicab geometry.  We finished the evening with an exploration of ellipses in this environment.


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Remember to RSVP for Our November Meeting!

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October Meeting Recap

“Origami is such a great way to get your hands dirty with Math!” -Tom Hull in Between the Foldsimg_5712

The Southwest Chicago Math Teachers’ Circle had the privilege of having Dr. Mary Webster Moore lead our October Meeting. Mary recently retired after a 40-year career as a school principal, middle school math teacher, and college math education professor. During the past two decades, she has been a specialist in origami.img_5697

Mary led the participants in multiple constructions that can be used in elementary, middle, or high school classrooms. She also asked numerous questions to help the attendees to unpack the mathematics contained in the origami activities.img_5730

Everyone had a great time and we constructed several traditional origami art like the Masu Box, Star Box, and Cube. Below are some of our creations!img_5751

“As a mathematics educator, I’ve moved past seeing origami as a novelty; it is very much a part of who I am as a teacher and artist. It gives me different tools with which to think about my craft as a teacher; in several dimensions, one of which just happens to be mathematics. All models are mathematical in the deepest sense of the word; it is the essence of the origami art form.” 
-Dr. Mary Webster Moore

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Remember to RSVP for Our October Meeting!



Hope to see you there!

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September 15th Meeting Recap

Ever wish there was a simple way to visualize the relationship between decimals and fractions? Long division? Polynomial division? Addition and multiplication using different bases?  During this month’s Southwest Chicago Math Teachers’ Circle meeting at Saint Xavier University, we explored an idea which helps us visualize and connect all of these ideas!

During our August Immersion Workshop, we introduced Exploding Dots as a way to visualize and understand addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division in different bases. During our first meeting of the 2016-2017 school year, we dove deeper into Exploding Dots and discovered how we can use this method to visualize fractions, decimals, and polynomial division.  One of the many benefits of using Exploding Dots is that it allows students to use pattern recognition to calculate and make sense of the computational algorithms used in division. It also allows students to be able to divide large numbers without having to know multiplication.

At our September meeting, we discussed how Exploding Dots connects with many of the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics and how it is a very accessible way for students to learn about number sense, polynomials, place value, and more. The developer of Exploding Dots, James Tanton, has compiled a list of standards that exploding dots directly relate to here. For more information about Exploding Dots, visit James Tanton’s site.

We had a blast using Exploding Dots to understand and visualize fractions, decimals, and polynomial division!
img_5694Join us next month on October 20th at Trinity Christian College from 6:00pm-8:30pm. We will be talking about the mathematics of origami! Please RSVP here.

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Please RSVP and join us for our September Meeting!

Math Circle Recruitment Event Sept.rev1.

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