1998 Summer Workshops

MATHmaniaCS Summer Workshops

The MATHmaniaCS project seeks to bring exciting topics in discrete mathematics and computer science to people of all ages. This summer, thanks to an Eisenhower grant from the Illinois Board of Higher Education, two MATHmaniaCS workshops will be given on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The workshop is aimed at teachers of grades 1-12, will focus on fun, hands-on, exploratory experiences which may be adapted to a wide range of grade levels, and are indexed to fit the NCTM standards and thereby naturally augment your math curriculum. The course WILL NOT involve any programming, WILL NOT involve any use of computers, but WILL help you and your students understand some of the science that underlies the everyday use of computers, and the types of puzzle-solving activities that comprise current research in discrete mathematics and computer science. Example topics include: counting to 1023 on your fingers, the theory of Eulerian graphs and balloon animals, modeling machine behavior with graphs, sorting and balance scale problems, and the Muddy City problem.

When: 9am-3pm, July 20-24, and August 3-7. (You may only register for one.)
Who: Workshop instructors include
Lenny Pitt (Assoc. Professor, CS Dept., UIUC; puzzles, juggling, balloon animals.)
Cinda Heeren (Ph.D. candidate, CS Dept., UIUC; genetically programmed to teach.)
Tom Magliery (Research Programmer, NCSA; past award-winning CS teaching assistant.)
Alexis Benson (Ph.D. candidate, Coll. of Education, UIUC. Past math teacher.)
Where: Univ. of IL, Digital Computer Lab, 1304 W. Springfield Ave., Urbana IL 61801.

Workshop Format:

Each day several activities highlighting different topics will be explored. Typically, participants will engage in the same activities that they will bring back to their students. Break-out time for smaller groups will provide opportunities for discussion, tuning of activities to student ability levels, and development of assessment methods. Participants will receive a set of lesson plans and masters for all the activities presented at the workshop, and reference materials with additional activities.

Participant Responsibility:

Prior to the workshop, participants will provide copies of student work from two representative lessons to help workshop presenters calibrate activities to match student abilities. During the workshop, participants will keep a daily journal reflecting on their experiences. Following the workshop, participants will present at least one activity in their own classrooms early in the 98-99 school year, document and evaluate their experiences, and present feedback at a half-day follow-up seminar in October.


All participants will receive a stipend of $300 (and a variety of tasty lunches!)

How to Register:

The workshop is open to all instructors of grades 1-12. Workshop participants will be selected to achieve a balance of experience, schools represented, and grade-level taught. All applications received by June 8 will receive equal consideration. Participant selection and notification of applicants will be finished by June 15. There are three ways to register:

  1. On the web, or
  2. Email to heeren@cs.uiuc.edu, or
  3. USPS to Cinda Heeren at address above (Where:).

Provide the following information:

  • Name, Address, Phone, Email (if any). Summer contact address, phone, email if different.
  • School you will be teaching at in Fall 1998;
  • Number of years teaching;
  • Subjects taught.
  • Which of the following ranges best matches the grades that you typically teach? 1-3, 4-6, or 7-12
  • Workshop dates preferred (7/20, 8/3, or no preference). If full, do you want to be considered for the other?
  • Briefly, why are you interested in participating in this workshop?
  • Do you know any teachers who participated in this workshop last year? Who?
  • Certify: If selected, I agree to fulfill all of the participant responsibilities listed above.