This year, students got to enjoy activities, contests, chances to win scientific calculators, and a talk on memory from a Guinness Book of World Records holder on Math Lab Day.
Brookdale celebrates Math Lab Day annually. Ana Teodorescu, assistant professor in the mathematics department and one of the advisors of the math club, said the entire department was excited to have the opportunity to celebrate Math Lab Day this year on March 14.
March 14 is Albert Einstein’s birthday and Pi Day, since the first three digits of Pi are 3.14. However, March 14 usually falls on a day during Brookdale’s Spring Break, so the festivities usually take place another day. “We were really happy to host the Pi Day celebrations on this special day,” Teodorescu said.
As part of the celebration, the math department had a contest to guess the number of cubes in a jar. The student who guessed the number closest to the exact amount received a scientific calculator. Nathalie Darden, assistant professor in the mathematics department, created a Global Read display and contest. Students had to correctly answer questions about selected works featured in Pointed Toward the Sun, the text containing works by Brookdale students and faculty and this year’s Global Read book, to win a scientific calculator.
In addition to the contests, students could add links to a chain to form the infinite number Pi. There were also rulers and pencils for the students, and, of course, there was pizza pie.
“I come to the math lab a lot to study,” said Maram Adbdelhamid, a Brookdale student who is taking MATH 172 this semester.
Shawna Gottlieb is taking MATH 131 this semester. She said she saw the posters advertising Math Lab Day and came to enjoy the events. “I find the math lab very helpful,” said Gottlieb.
David Fiore, an adjunct professor in the math department, spoke to the students about memory. Fiore became a Guinness Book of World Records holder 40 years ago when was the first person to recite Pi to over 10,000 digits. He was able to achieve that due to his eidetic memory, but he said most people only remember about 20% of the information they learned after 24 hours. He spoke about different techniques students can use to help retain information so they can be successful in their studies.
“Repetition is the mother of all memory,” Fiore said. He suggested students should learn actively, write information down, have a same day review of new information, reduce any interference and always have a positive mental attitude. “You never want to quit when it comes to trying to learn,” Fiore encouraged.
In addition to the activities inside the math lab, Teodorescu and Spyro Roubos, assistant professor in the mathematics department and math club advisor, set up a pie throwing challenge outside of the Student Life Center. The challenge was to hit volunteer Roubos in the face with a pie. There were at least a dozen Brookdale students, many who had Roubos as their math professor either currently or in past semesters, who watched and participated in the event. The proceeds went toward the trip to Washington D.C the STEM clubs have planned for April 5-7.
Brookdale student Maram Abdelhamid gets math help from Heeja Kwon, academic tutor.