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Monthly Math Hour at the University of Washington



Each spring, Seattle-area middle- and junior high-school students are invited to participate in the Monthly Math Hour on the University of Washington's campus. The Monthly Math Hour at the UW is a series of talks that will take place from 1-2pm on Sunday afternoons to introduce students to the beautiful and exciting world of mathematics. The lectures are given completely free of charge in Savery Hall room 260.

Well-behaved parents and teachers are also welcome to attend with the permission of their children. Siblings are free to join in, too.

There will be time for questions and further discussion after the talks.

To receive information about future events, please check back or click here to join our mailing list.

If you have any further questions or comments, please contact:


Events for 2015

2015 Math Hour flyer (click for PDF)

March 22, 2015
Brandy Wiegers, Central Washington University
Mathematical Tiling and Organization (flyer)
There are many mathematical problems that involve tiling (covering) all the squares on a chessboard (or similar board) with tiles of various sizes. We'll be talking about these problems and then taking tiling to the next level, with new shapes and sizes of tiles covering all types of surfaces. Plan to roll up your sleeves and move those tiles around.

Math Playground for younger siblings (grades K-5), organized by Prime Factor Math Circle, is back this year!

April 12, 2015
Jonah Ostroff, University of Washington
Mildly Impressive Mathematical Card Tricks (flyer)
In this talk, we'll look at a bunch of two-person magic tricks, centered on a common theme: how can you convey a lot of information with a small number of choices? We'll see a few examples of these tricks, and then learn a famous theorem that tells us why they work and when they don't. No slight of hand required, but you might need to do some arithmetic.

May 17, 2015
Edwin O'Shea, James Madison University
Euclid's Elements: An old and beautiful math book and its influence on Lincoln
Euclid's Elements from Ancient Greece is to mathematics what Shakespeare is to literature, being initially difficult to read but providing the first substantial example of the tremendous possibilities in mathematics. Among the many great results in Elements are Pythagoras's Theorem and the fact that a mysterious constant called π actually exists. We will spend much of this talk showing how these well known results from geometry came to be, emphasizing both mathematical intuition and mathematical proof. We will close with why this old math book was so deeply influential on Jefferson's Declaration of Independence and on Lincoln's understanding of the wrongs of slavery.

May 31, 2015
Math Hour Olympiad

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Math Playground: The younger siblings of Math Hour students are invited to get their share of fun at the Math Playground! The Math Playground is a series of exciting and educational math games and activities designed for elementary school students. The children will be busy with hands-on explorations, puzzles, and interesting problems and will stretch their logical thinking with mathematical games. Math Playground is designed for students in grades K-5, organized by Prime Factor Math Circle, and is held next door to the Math Hour lecture, in Savery Hall room 264.


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Thank you!

The Monthly Math Hour at the University of Washington is supported by the NSF award DMS-095-3011 and the UW Department of Mathematics.