June 30, 2013

PCMI eTable

I spent the last two summers at Park City Math Institute (PCMI) and they were awesome.  I made the difficult decision to stay home this year to work on my house, return to PROMYS and discover what Salem is like in July (I've lived here 3 years but missed every July).  Right now I'm experiencing some serious regret though, Ashli has already arrived in Park City and she was my roommate both years - I'm way jealous I don't get to be there with her.  Since I can't be there in person, I'm setting up the next best thing - an eTable.  The first session every morning is the math course; participants are split into tables of 5-6 and work through problem sets that the amazing Bowen and Darryl write.  They, ever so generously, post those online for all to see.  The pdf's will start appearing tomorrow on the PCMI Teacher Program page.  My plan is to work on the problems on my own during the day (I have an hour long bus ride each way, math problems sound like a perfect way to fill that time) and then I want to invite anyone interested to discuss problems, questions, solutions, tangents, connections etc.

I don't know what this will look like yet, but here are some thoughts:

  • Google Hangout - max of 10 participants which is more than we want anyway, if lots of people want to play along we could create a different hangout for each type of problem.  Last time I solved math problems via hangout I missed the ability to turn and talk to just one person - ideas for how to manage that?
  • Hangouts have more features than I'm aware of, but the ability to have a google doc open while in a hangout seems potentially useful.  Some math is difficult to type though...
  • Shared dropbox or google drive folder to upload notes - I'll be writing on scrap paper on the bus, it would be nice to have a place to show people what I wrote down
  • New twitter handle to tweet at, I don't want answers appearing on our feeds because people will start problems at different times and it's no fun when the discoveries get spoiled, but if we made a new user that no one followed you could search for it after you were done playing for the day.

Here's where you come in - if you're interested in joining me, fill out the form so I can set something up.  If you want to see what you're getting into before signing up (no commitment, I won't take attendance, don't worry) you can check out past problem sets first.  They are filled with inside jokes, my goal for this summer is to make it into the side notes without being present, don't tell Bowen though because that's like the kid who asks for an award - they automatically don't get one!

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