NSU math professor to be featured at NLMTC event

The Noel Foundation is partnering with the North Louisiana Math Teachers’ Circle (NLMTC) to host “The Tower of Hanoi and More!”, a hands-on presentation for local math teachers featuring NLMTC founder Dr. Judith Covington, professor of mathematics at Northwestern State University.

The event will be in the LSU-S University Center ballroom from 5-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, October 5. Guests can look forward to a free dinner and dessert as well as giveaways for the first 20 teachers who register.

“The goal of Math Teachers’ Circles across the nation are to get K-12 math teachers excited about doing mathematics. It’s different than a typical workshop where teachers simply discuss how to better teach their students,” Covington said. “At this event teachers will have the experience of being students themselves and working together to solve exciting math problems.”

“The Tower of Hanoi and More!” is a presentation that will allow participants to work hands on with the Tower of Hanoi puzzle to explore the minimum number of moves required to complete it. After determining that number, participants will explore modifications to the puzzle.

The Tower of Hanoi, also called Towers of Hanoi or Towers of Brahma, puzzle involves three vertical pegs and a set of different sized disks with holes through their centers. The disks are initially placed on one of the pegs, with the largest disk on the bottom and the smallest on top. The task is to transfer the stack to one of the other pegs subject to two rules: only individual disks may be moved, and no disk may be placed on a smaller disk.

Working with local K-12 teachers and area college faculty is always exciting,” Covington said. “I believe that K-12 teachers are the key to our future, and any opportunity to support and encourage them should be embraced. For over 10 years, NLMTC has provided fun, exciting, and challenging sessions for local teachers.”

The NLMTC is part of the Math Teachers’ Circle Network, a project of the American Institute of Mathematics. It was founded in 2010 after Dr. Covington and four other local teachers attended a workshop in Washington, D.C. The NLMTC’s first event was held in December 2010 and since then they have been offering hands-on professional development for teachers in the region to collaborate with each other and strengthen problem-solving abilities.

The mission of the North Louisiana Math Teachers’ Circle (NLMTC) is to establish the foundation for a culture of problem solving by fostering the enjoyment of mathematics among middle school math teachers. They offer professional development meetings for middle school teachers from North Louisiana, and their ultimate goal is to help today’s teachers and students become flexible, creative, and collaborative problem solvers. They believe that strengthening teachers’ mathematical problem-solving skills will impact middle school students’ problem-solving experiences, expertise, and enthusiasm for mathematics and ultimately transfer to higher student achievement in mathematics.

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