Workshops in Your District: Exploring Discrete Mathematics
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
Would you like the teachers in your district to become familiar
with topics in discrete mathematics and use them in your classrooms?
If your answer is "yes", consider hosting a workshop on discrete
mathematics in your district. Or you may ask, "What is discrete
mathematics, anyway?" An in-service workshop is the perfect way for
you and others in your school district to find out. (A brief
discussion of discrete mathematics appears below.)
These workshops bring math instructors of all levels together to
discuss an increasingly important area of contemporary mathematics
with practical applications to a wide range of areas - from computers
to policy planning. The workshops offer an exciting way to
re-energize teachers and math curricula at all levels, providing new
classroom applications and fresh perspectives.
Teachers will receive complete in-service packages which can be
used both by workshop participants and, with their assistance, by
other teachers in the district. Workshop leaders will be available to
advise teachers about implementation. The instructional materials
used in the workshops are based on the experiences of workshop leaders
using discrete mathematics in their own classrooms.
If you want to know more about hosting a workshop on discrete
mathematics in your district, either return the request form for
additional information or contact Debby Toti by phone at 732/445-4065
(Fax 732/445-3477) or e-mail at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Requests may be made at any time. The number
of workshops that can be offered is limited, so early requests are
The Leadership Program in Discrete Mathematics will sponsor one or
more full-day workshops in your school or district covering
contemporary topics in discrete mathematics and offering ways of
introducing these concepts into the classroom and into the curriculum.
Teachers at all levels should be encouraged to participate in the
workshops, since many of the concepts can be introduced to and
discussed with students at all levels. See the sample questions in
discrete mathematics listed below for examples of problems.
Workshop leaders will conduct workshops in your district or school.
Whenever possible, we will schedule a workshop leader from your
geographic area to minimize travel expenses whenever possible.
Workshop leaders live in or near the following states:
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
For workshops in other states, there will be additional travel expenses.
Workshops will be scheduled on an individual basis at the request of
the participating district. Workshops may be scheduled during the
school year or during the summer. Every effort will be made to
accommodate dates requested by interested districts.
The workshops will be conducted by experienced teachers who have
participated in the Leadership Program and in a seven-day training
program on preparing and presenting such workshops.
Workshops in Your District: Exploring Discrete Mathematics is a
component of the Leadership Program in Discrete Mathematics. Sponsors
include the Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer
Science (DIMACS) and the Rutgers University Center for Mathematics,
Science, and Computer Education (CMSCE). Funding is provided by
DIMACS and the National Science Foundation.
- Joseph G. Rosenstein, Project Director
WHAT IS DISCRETE MATHEMATICS?
Discrete mathematics is a rapidly growing and increasingly used
area of mathematics with many practical and relevant applications.
Because it is grounded in real world problems, discrete math lends
itself easily to implementing the recommendations of the NCTM
Discrete math will make mathematical concepts come alive for your
students. It's an excellent tool for improving reasoning and
problem-solving skills, and is appropriate for students at all levels
and all abilities. Teachers have found that discrete mathematics
offers a way of motivating unmotivated students and challenging honors
students at the same time.
Problems in discrete mathematics are often simply stated and
accessible to students with little mathematical background, including
those who have not mastered algebra. On the other hand, many problems
are complex, leading students to new insights and knowledge.
Questions that seem simple give rise to related questions that are
quite challenging. As a result, the topics are accessible and
interesting both to students that are accustomed to success and
already may be contemplating scientific careers, as well as to
students who are accustomed to failure and perhaps need a fresh start
Because discrete mathematics deals with complex problem solving,
it has widespread uses in a variety of fields. Many current
applications to areas such as networking, telecommunications, computer
design, cryptanalysis, robotics, social choice theory, and operations
research involve discrete mathematics. Students specializing in
discrete mathematics will find a wide range of career opportunities
open to them.
SOME SAMPLE PROBLEMS IN DISCRETE MATHEMATICS
- What is the quickest way to sort a list of names alphabetically?
- Which way of connecting a number of sites into a telephone network
requires the least amount of cable?
- Which version of a lottery gives the best odds?
- If each voter ranks the candidates for Presidents in order of
preference, how can a consensus ranking of the candidates be obtained?
- What is the best way for a robot to pick up items stored in an
- How does a CD player interpret the codes on a CD correctly even if
the CD is scratched?
- How can an estate be divided fairly?
- How can ice cream stands be placed at various street corners in a
town so that at any corner there is a stand which is at most one block
- What is the most efficient way to make collections from MAC
- How can representatives be apportioned fairly among the states using
current census information?
REQUEST FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
For additional information on Workshops in Your District: Exploring
Discrete Mathematics, print this form, fill it out, and mail it to us at:
- Workshops in Your District
- P.O. Box 10867
- New Brunswick, NJ 08906-0867
School Address: _________________________________________________
School Phone: (______) ______________________________
Home Address: _________________________________________________
Home Phone: (______) ______________________________