Archive for September, 2011

Teach For America: Info Session

Teach for America and Phi Alpha Theta Present:

Making an Impact on Education Inequality”

When: Monday October 3rd at 4:00 pm in Science Building 270

Please join us to learn more about career opportunities through Teach For America

For more information: Asma Ashraf (Recruitment Associate) 213-489-9272 x 34149

E-mail any questions to

SFMC Teachers’ Circle October 4

In a new program, just for teachers, SFMC will be sponsoring monthly dinners with a special Math Circle speaker. This is meant to be a professional learning community that builds of the foundation of the SFMC.

2011-2012 SFMC Math Teachers’ Circle Meeting Schedule

We will be meeting 5:30-8:30 the 1st Tuesday of the month*.

October 4th Speaker – Tatiana Shubin

Tatiana Shubin’s fun interactive style combined with her expansive knowledge of mathematicswill expand your mind and make everything- including graph paper- more mathematical! Tatiana was instrumental in starting the first Bay Area Teachers’ Circles and is now a leaderfor the Teachers’ Circle movement across the United States. Her presentation will introduceyou to great mathematics as well as provide a starting point for incorporating for Math Circlemath into your classroom.


We currently plan to meet at the San Francisco State University Center for Science and Math Education AnnexClick here! for a map. The nearest official parking garage that you can use is Parking Garage 20. Please contact us if you need parking permits.

If you are interested in joining us email Brandy,, to learn more.

2011 Educator Extravaganza

Overview: Join fellow educators to explore the California Academy of Sciences inside and out, and walk away with resources, activities and inspiration to bring science into your classroom in exciting new ways. Participate in workshops and behind-the-scenes tours, converse with scientists, and dive deeper into the Academy’s exhibits and research collections.

Event Information: November 5, 2011

Free for Bay Area teachers. RSVP required. Space is limited.

Schedule and Location

1:30 – 2:00 pm Check-in, Refreshments, Sessions Begin East Garden
2:00 – 2:45 pm Special Session or FREE Exploration
Registration required for special sessions
East Garden
3:00 – 3:45 pm Special Session or FREE Exploration
Registration required for special sessions
East Garden
4:00 – 4:45 pm Science Cafe Talk African Hall
4:45 – 5:15 pm Raffle and Acknowledgments African Hall
5:15 – 6:15 pm Evening Sessions - Exhibit Explorations
Registration not required
6:15 – 6:30 pm Check out and Goodie Bag Pickup Front Lobby

Please note: Registration is required. This event is open to educators only.

There has been a tremendous response to the Educator Extravaganza. Thanks for all your interest in this new and exciting opportunity for teachers.

At this time, all of the special sessions during the event are full. However, you can still register for the event! We have added a new option called “free exploration” for the 2pm and 3pm sessions which includes a ticket to the event, time to explore teacher resources at tables, and a free opportunity to view the exhibits. Beginning at 4pm, all registered teachers will hear a science talk from one of our Academy staff, enjoy refreshments in our exhibits, and receive a goodie bag.

Registration required! Space is limited.
For more information and to register, click here or visit us

Fall 2011 BACT Newsletter

New BACT Director: Ted Courant
We are excited to announce that Ted Courant will be serving as the new
BACT Director. Brandy Wiegers has recently accepted a position at San Francisco State
University Center for Science and Math Education so we asked Ted to take over BACT. Brandy
will continue to support BACT as a Co-Director so we wish her the best and look
forward to Ted’s leadership.
Bay Area Monthly Teachers’ Circles
The following are Math Teachers’ Circles – just for teachers.
They usually meet monthly. Check out the individual programs for more
======== San Francisco Teachers’ Circle ========
We’ll be meeting the 1st Tuesday of the month, 5:30-8:30pm, at SF State.
In a new program, just for teachers,  SFMC will be sponsoring monthly
dinners with a special Math Circle speaker. This is meant to be a professional learning
community that builds off the foundation of the SFMC/BACT.

Fall 2011 should provide a great start to this new program, with:
October 4,  2011 Tatiana Shubin
November 1,  2011 Art Benjamin
December 6,  2011 TBA
For more information and to RSVP for dinner please visit our website,
======== AIM/ Palo Alto Teachers’ Circle ========
The events will typically be held at AIM on TUESDAY evenings (3rd
Tues) from 5:00-8:00 pm.
You can find the schedule and other information about upcoming
meetings at
They will also be holding a 1 day workshop for new and old participants, Oct 15.
Check back on the website for more information.
In addition the Math Teachers’ Circle has created a Google Group.
People can join by visiting
and clicking on “Apply for group membership,” or by sending an email
to .

SF State Julia Robinson Math Festival – Saturday October 1
Saturday, October 1st from ~9am-1pm
San Francisco State University – Gym

The Julia Robinson Math Festival is aimed at students in 6th – 12th
grades.  It will consist of morning math activities and a math-circle style
talk. The problem sets cover a wide variety of mathematical topics sets
cover a wide variety of mathematical topics, including abstract problem-
solving techniques like symmetry and parity as well as content ranging
from arithmetic and algebra through combinatorics and topology.

For more information (including registration) please visit

Bay Area Science Festival (BASF) October 29- November 6, 2011
The BASF is part of the national NSF funded effort to highlight the public
math and science opportunities available in the local community for everyone
including K-12 students, 20 -30 year olds , families,  working
professionals, etc. The festival is going to be Oct 30- Nov 6 with events being
highlighted from Marin to San Jose. This will be the 1st of a 3 year NSF grant for the effort which
many hope will become an ongoing community event. You can find out more here,

BACT/ MSRI Bay Area Science Festival events include:
- SF State Julia Robinson Math Festival, October 1

- SF Math Teachers’ Circle with Art Benjamin, November 1

- AT &T Park Discovery Days Booth with You Can Do the Cube!, November 6th
In addition check out the educators events including:
California 0: Educator Extravaganza
Please encourage your students and colleagues to attend these events.
Also, please feel free to join us at our AT&T Booth to work with Bay Area
families and share your love of math. We’re looking for Bay Area problem
solvers to help us with the crowds of new faces.
Contact us, , for more information.

Creating Balance in an Unjust World: Math Education & Social Justice.
January 13-15, 2012. Mission High School
We are currently seeking submissions for workshop proposals and
are happy to announce our keynote speaker, Professor Lisa Delpit.
Bay Area Circle for Teachers Winter Workshop – January 28th – Save the Date

Date: Saturday, January 28th, 2012.

We held our first Bay Area Circle for Teachers Winter Workshop three
years ago and it was such a success
that it is now going to be a Bay Area tradition. At this year’s
workshop you can look forward to Math Circle
lesson presentations by the San Francisco State University (CM)^2
Mathematician and Teacher Partnership Teams.
These 9 teams of mathematical graduate students and SFUSD
teachers will present lessons they’ve created for San Francisco Math Circle and discuss
how they’ve used the lessons in their classes.

Possible topics include Combinatorics of the game SET and Knot Topology.

More information about this program will be sent in the next newsletter
Bay Area Circle for Teachers Summer Workshop 2011 – Checkout the Resources
This year’s BACT Summer Workshop was another success!
Checkout the website of resources,
And photos.
BACT Google Group
We’ve started a Google Group,,
You should have already received an invite but if you didn’t please email me
back with your preferred google contact.
Math Circles Begin Again. See below for the schedules for all Bay Area
Math Circle programs. Be sure to checkout for the most up-to-date Bay Area
Math Circle information.

======== Oakland/ East Bay Math Circle ======
The Oakland East Bay Math Circle began Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011
The program will be meeting at Laney College and Patten University
with a new satellite program at Skyline High School.
For more information go to

This program is free to students and teachers.
In fact, teachers who bring their students can apply to receive an honorarium.

======== San Francisco Math Circle ======
The San Francisco Math Circle began, Monday, September 12, 2011
at three locations in the San Francisco Area for middle and high
school students.
- Sunset (3:45 – 5:00 PM), Lowell High School (1101 Eucalyptus Dr), Room TBA
- Bayview (4:00- 5:00pm)  Thurgood Marshall Academic High School (45
Conkling St.), Room 218.
- Mission (3:30- 4:30 pm) Mission High School, Room (3750 18th St.), Room TBA
SFMC meetings are broken into topic blocks, check the calendar to learn more:
For times and directions go to:

This program is free to students and teachers.
======== Berkeley Math Circle ======
** Please note, at this time,  the enrollment for all levels of BMC is
closed for the Fall semester. **
Here is information for people who want to look into future BMC programs,
There are now four parallel sessions:
“BMC Beginner” and “BMC Advanced”. For each of the sessions, students will be
able to choose which one to attend based on their experience with math
(not their year in school). Usually, students who attended
Berkeley Math Circle for two or more years should attend “BMC Advanced”.
In addition to BMC Beginner and BMC Advanced there is a BMC Elementary  for younger
students in grades 1-3. Students will need to complete an online application,|main|BMC%20Application
The schedule and archives are at

======== Marin Math Circle ======
Marin Math Circle will be expanding this year, with 3 levels:
Elementary Circle, Intermediate Circle, and Advanced Circle.
All sessions will be on Wednesdays during the school year,
on the campus of Dominican University of California in San Rafael.
The first session with be on September 21,  2011.
Room numbers will be posted here in early September.
For more information including schedule and contact information go to:

Register Online:
======== San Jose Math Circle ======
The San Jose Math Circle meets Wednesdays, 7-9 pm on
San Jose State University campus.

For more information including schedule and contact information go to:

======== Stanford Math Circle ======
The Stanford Math Circle meets Thursdays, 6-8pm on Stanford Campus,
Stanford University Department of Mathematics, Building 380 Room 380-C
The Stanford Math Circle will resume on Thursday, September 29, 2011.
Registration will be opening during the week of September 5.
The fee for participation in the SMC is $100 per academic quarter.

For more information including schedule and contact information go to:
Please email the Director, Ted Alper <>, if you
have any questions about the Stanford Math Circle.
======== UC Davis  Explore Math ======
A vertically integrated program for middle and high school students
organized by graduate students with undergraduate teaching assistants.

For more information including schedule and contact information go to:

========  Nueva Middle School and Lower School Math Circles ========

Nueva is proud to sponsor the third year of the Nueva Math Circle.
Guided by mathematicians and educators, the Nueva Math Circle provides
students with opportunities to play with interesting mathematical
activities, puzzles, and problems. This year’s math circle has been
expanded to include students in preK to 8th grade, with new sessions
specially geared for middle schoolers. Our first session will be on
Friday, September 30th, from 5:00 to 7:30 pm. Please visit for
registration and room locations. Parents are invited to participate
with their children in the Lower School Math Circle, and are asked to
supervise their own children. Pizza will be available for $7 per
person, and a light snack will be served prior to 5:00 pm. In addition
to Nueva families, the Math Circle is open to the public.

Our Lower School session will be led by two fantastic speakers, Tanya
Thompson and Daniel Finkel. Tanya Thompson is the Head of Inventor
Relations at ThinkFun, Inc., which develops and
manufactures award-winning games and toys that encourage critical
thinking and creativity. As part of ThinkFun’s Product Development
team, Tanya travels the world meeting inventors to bring in new ideas
for ThinkFun’s product line. Her session will walk through the product
development process, showing how a product goes from an inventor’s
idea to your shopping cart. Dan Finkel, Ph.D., is an instructor for
the The Robinson Center for Young Scholars at the University of
Washington and a contributor to the New York Times puzzle blog called
Numberplay He
has devoted much of his life to understanding and teaching the
motivation, history, aesthetics, and deep structure of mathematics.
Dan will be leading a session on “Nim, Square Numbers, and The Fourth
Dimension.” Our Middle School session is entitled “Tic-Tac-Toe on the
Torus: An Introduction to Topology” and will be led by Linda Green,
the Director of the Marin Math Circle and Assistant Professor of
Mathematics at Dominican University.

Please register by September 28th at

Our 2011-2012 Math Circle Dates:
Friday, September 30
Friday, November 11
Friday, March 2
Friday, April 20

Questions or comments? 

Please contact me if you have any questions.
Have a wonderful start to your school year!

Ted Courant
Bay Area Circle for Teachers, Director
Find us on Facebook -
Find us on Google Groups –

Refugee Transitions

Refugee Transitions’ mission is to assist refugee and immigrant families in becoming self-sufficient in the United States by providing services to help them attain the English language, life, job and academic skills they need to succeed in their new communities.

The core component of our ESL Civics Education and Orientation Program is our home-based tutoring service in which volunteers teach English to adults in students’ homes. Volunteers currently teach in San Francisco, Alameda, and Santa Clara counties.
Refugee Transitions provides preparatory training and resources to support volunteers, as well as the unique opportunity for volunteers to teach English as a Second Language to refugees and immigrants in the students’ home environments. Refugee Transitions also provides family support services, giving priority to newly-arrived refugees and single mothers.
Together, the student and tutor address the life skills which the student has identified as the most important. Tutors also help students to learn the language and literacy skills needed to engage more actively in community activities, and to access important civic institutions and community resources.

Volunteers are asked to make a minimum commitment of six months and to work with their students 2-4 hours per week. Schedules are arranged between the volunteer and student. We try to place volunteers with someone who lives in a convenient location, although there are no guarantees. Volunteers must attend a preparatory Orientation and Training.  For more information on how to get involved, click here.

Interested in Science & Scientists?

SEPAL: The Science Education Partnership and Assessment Laboratory in conjunction with WISE: Women in Science and Engineering

Invite you to meet Dr. Angela Johnson (Associate Professor Dept. of Education Studies St.Mary’s College, Maryland)

Attend her seminar talk

The Conundrum Of Women Scientists Of Color:

When: October 6, 2011

Time: 4:00-5:00pm in Science Building 210

Everyone is welcome!

Attend a question & answer session with Dr. Johnson (appetizers served)

When: October 6, 2011

Time: 5:00-7:00pm Hensill Hall 245

**RSVP’s are required**

Email Rebecca at

Creating Balance in an Unjust World: Math & Social Justice Conference


Join educators, parents, students, activists, and community members from around the country for a 3-day conference to explore the connections between math education and social justice. We will explore many questions, challenges, and opportunities to work toward social justice through math education. We invite you to share your thoughts, lesson plans, questions and to be a facilitator for a workshop, interest group, or presentation. Facilitators may choose to present on topics related to math and social justice including equity in education, literacy and social justice, and integrating social issues into the math classroom. Sessions need not be entirely polished presentations as we hope to share ideas in order to build together.

Goals of the conference

  • Bring together educators, researchers, parents, activists, and students to collectively discuss social justice and math education
  • Foster new and innovative partnerships and collaborations
  • Create a space to share resources, lesson plans, best practices, and other classroom materials
  • Develop structures for ongoing discussion and working groups about math and social justice
  • Organize a national voice in the ongoing debate over math education reform
  • Plan actions, advocacy, future meetings, etc.

When: January 13-15, 2012

Where: Mission High School

For more information and or application:

Math and Physics Tutors Needed!

Overview: SF State’s Campus Academic Resource Program (CARP) seeks math and physics tutors for the Fall 2011 semester.

Requirements: 3.0 GPA or higher and 12 hours/week commitment required.

Starting pay: $10.26/hour.

Submit cover letter, resume and unofficial college transcripts to HSS 346 or email  .

For more information:

Transition to The Common Core Standards; One District’s Approach

The Alameda Contra Costa Council of Mathematics Educators, ACME, is pleased to invite you to our third free seminar on the new Common Core Standards in mathematics:

Our speaker will be Phil Tucher, mathematics coordinator for the Oakland  Unified School District.

Transition to the Common Core Standards; One District’s Approach

Now that California has adopted the Common Core Standards, when is the right time to begin putting them in place. Where is the best place to start?  With new Core Standards-based tests coming in 2014-15, and not much happening at the state level, what can we do now to make a positive difference for our students in the next three years?  How do we help teachers focus on implementing the promise of the Core Standards?

Anyone interested in our state’s new Common Core Standards is welcome to attend and participants will be admitted free of charge to the Lawrence Hall of Science.

Parking is ample, but there is a cost per hour for parking carpooling is recommended.

When: Saturday, October 1st 2011 (10:00 a.m. -12:00)

Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley (Room 150)

This free seminar has space for only 65 participants!

RSVP to 

Asian Pacific Scholarship

Overview: Established in 1990, the Asian Pacific Community Fund (APCF) is a network of community organizations focused on enhancing the lives of Asian Pacific Islanders throughout Los Angeles County.  We are committed to generating funds and resources for 29 non-profit organizations that provide quality services focused on the complex and diverse needs of the Asian and Pacific Islander community.

The Asian Pacific Community Fund partners with Verizon to financially assist students in their pursuit of higher education as they face the challenge of significantly rising costs of obtaining a college degree.  These awards will support those who excel academically, are leaders amongst their peers and are making a positive impact in their communities.

The 3rd cycle of the scholarship program offers 5 – $1,000 awards for college students who will be entering their third year at a 4-year, accredited college/university in California, Oregon, or Washington, or are a resident of those states. Scholarships are open to students majoring in math, sciences, engineering, or a related field.

TRANSFER STUDENTS coming from a 2-year institution and attending a 4-year institution in Fall 2011 are also eligible to apply for the scholarship.


  • Be a citizen, national, legal permanent resident of the U.S., or citizen of the Freely Associated States.
  • Be a resident of California, Oregon or Washington or attending college in one of these states.
  • Be a third year college student and enrolled in a U.S. accredited 4-year college or university as a full-time, degree-seeking, student majoring in math, science, engineering or related field in the Fall of 2011.
  • Have a minimum cumulative unweighted GPA of 3.0.

The scholarship awards will only be used to cover the cost of attending an accredited 4 year college/university. This may include tuition, fees, books, supplies, living expenses and meals. What is included in the cost of attendance varies by institution.

Selection Criteria:

Awardees will be selected based on the following criteria:

1. Essay questions (2)

2. Grade Point Average (GPA)

3. Community Involvement

4. Leadership

Application Deadline: October 31st, 2011

Scholarship and Application: