Saturday math program for high school students underway at York University

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The Department of Mathematics and Statistics in the Faculty of Science has once again joined forces with the Fields Institute to host “York Math Circle” for high school students from across the GTA.

Students and instructors in the 2016-17 York Math Circle
York Math Circle students and their instructors

Held every Saturday from 10am to 12pm, the program started in October and will continue until June at the University’s Keele campus. The York Math Circle brings together students with a keen interest in mathematics and provides opportunities for them to advance their math skills. Currently, there are 32 students enrolled in the program, which is free but requires students to apply.

“At York Math Circle, students work beyond their curriculum expectations and discover the beauty and captivation of mathematics,” said Varvara Nika, coordinator of the program and a recent PhD graduate of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at York University.

Nika, who is now a mathematics consultant with the Toronto District School Board, is an instructor for the York Math Circle along with Stefana Penelea and Robert Jordan (both are part of the Master’s in Mathematics for Teachers graduate program at York) and Corina Georgescu, who works at the Toronto Catholic District School Board.

Each week the instructors lead the students through advanced mathematics topics, various problem-solving techniques and creative mathematical ideas. The sessions also develop teamwork and collaboration skills by including group problem-solving activities. The organizers will be planning a trip for the students to participate in the 2017 American Regions Mathematics League competition in Pennsylvania.

“We are pleased to have the support of the Faculty of Science at York and the Fields Institute in bringing a math enrichment program to the community,” said Paul Szeptycki, chair of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. “By creating a stimulating environment for the students, we hope that the program not only enhances their skills in math but also inspires them to consider pursuing math in university.”