Recently I was able to attend the first Chief Science Officer (CSO) Math Festival. CSO Sahiba helped to plan the event and presented to those in attendance. Students were able to select two 45-minute breakout sessions to attend in addition to being a part of the general session for everyone. The available sessions included: Interactive Math Problems, Problem Solving Strategies, Math Theory, and Math in Real Life.

I attended the problem solving session where we looked at a geometric problem with a large and many small squares. Using the information we were provided about the length of several sides, we worked together to identify the lengths of all sides in order to find the area of the larger square.

During the second session, Math Theory, participants visited Square Land. In Square Land we explored how many small squares we could cut from a big square. We also identified how to divide the square into an odd number of parts.

Following the breakout rooms we were introduced to three special guests. The first was Mark Sal, a senior scholar. He discussed the importance of math and how we have the ability to learn as much as we can with focus and effort. Next, Brian May shared how numbers are utilized in marketing. May is so skilled that he does not use a calculator, instead he solves problems mentally. The last presenter, Scott Flansburg, is known as the human calculator— he is in the Guinness Book of World Records. He shared how he practiced numbers a lot as a child. Flansburg memorized calendar patterns and can tell you the day your birthday will be on within seconds of learning your birth date. He also highlighted his skills by counting by 17s as easily as we count by twos.

I love math and had a great time attending the Math Festival. I recommend it for anyone who loves math.


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