Althea’s Math Mysteries

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Sue VanHattum and Althea

Join an online math circle for students ages 12 to 15 in March to April. Participants are exploring geometry, proof, and the basics of trigonometry.

Sue VanHattum, editor of Playing With Math: Stories from Math Circles, Homeschoolers, and Passionate Teachers and life-long fan and teacher of math, is writing a new book series. In four young adult novels, Althea and her friends explore some of the mysteries of mathematics. The first two books are nearing publication at Natural Math.

In Althea and the Mysteries of Triangles, Circles, and Pi, Althea and friends, with the help of Althea’s mom, explore geometry and proof in order to then learn the basics of trigonometry. We found some eager math students to join us in an online math circle, led by Sue, exploring math’s mysteries along with Althea and her friends. Participants join lively small-group sessions: in part a deep and friendly math course, and also a unique book club, with the author refining the story based on student reactions.

Althea and the Mysteries of Triangles, Circles, and Pi is a fictional story set in the present, in which the characters discuss math, with Mom throwing in a few true stories from the past. Like The Number Devil and Math Girls, this book gives you more the more you put into it by doing the math yourself.

Commitments made:

  • Attend 9 weeks of 60-minute live online sessions from March to April. Time is 3-4 p.m. PST.
  • Read and comment on 1 to 3 chapters of the book each week.
  • Keep an informal math journal during this time.

For all who stay the course:

  • You’ll learn the foundations of geometry and trigonometry (and will get a certificate for completing the course).
  • You’ll get a signed copy of the published book.
  • Your name or alias will appear in the book’s acknowledgements, and you will receive a letter of appreciation for your help with this STEM project. (If you’d like a letter of recommendation later, we will be happy to write one for you.)
  • You’ll get to build community with math friends and mentors.