Vanderbilt professors strive to make math enjoyable for middle- and high-schoolers

The Nashville Math Club—hosted by math professors at Vanderbilt University—will resume Sept. 8 for middle- and high-school students who would like to learn complex mathematical concepts in fun and creative ways. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the free after-school club will meet on Zoom during the fall semester.

Larry Rolen, assistant professor of mathematics, and Alice Mark, senior lecturer in mathematics, co-direct the club, which will meet every other Tuesday from 5 to 7 p.m.

“This type of program is especially important right now, as learning has been disrupted by the pandemic,” Rolen said. “The club also provides an extracurricular opportunity when so many other activities have been cancelled or will be difficult to make happen.”

The club, which is open to all students in grades 5-12, strives to broaden math and problem-solving skills with engaging activities, such as learning the geometry of bubbles or cutting a bagel like a mathematician. More examples can be found on the Nashville Math Club website.

In addition to Rolen and Mark, the Nashville Math Club will utilize the expertise of Lori Rafter, senior lecturer in mathematics; Zachary Tripp and Brian Luczak, graduate students; and Ian Wagner, a postdoctoral fellow.

All students who would like to participate must fill out an application before they can join. For more information, email Larry Rolen.