Mini Maths Camps

As part of the Maseno maths camp initiative, we are introducing mini maths camps for schools. This idea arose from the overwhelming popularity of the first Maseno Maths Camp and the high demand by schools evidenced in the follow up visits. Unlike the annual event which is hosted at Maseno for a week, schools will have the opportunity to organize this event.

The mini maths camp for schools will be organised as a half day event by the organizing school. The school will have to complete an online application form. The Maseno team will then have a discussion with the school on the appropriate date and time. The activities will reflect the aims of the Maseno maths camp initiative, exposing students to mathematics outside the curriculum to create interest and skills in the subject. The two Maseno maths camp resource DVDs are free to copy and distribute. Teachers will be given a brief introduction to most of these resources and DVD’s will be left with the schools for them to use as they would like.

Any school can apply irrespective of location and available resources, however schools who are a long way from Maseno might want to team up and apply with their neighbors so that a short visit from the team becomes easier. We encourage the organizing school to invite maths teachers from other schools and to take the lead in the organisation at their school.

Fulbright Award

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Tom Denton has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship by the US State Department, which will allow him to work with Maseno University during the 2012-2013 school year. Denton will be focused on developing mathematics curriculum both on-line and in the classroom in order to improve problem solving skills of Kenyan undergraduates. Along the way, he also plans to lend substantial assistance to the Maseno Maths Camp and other math education projects. And maybe even do some research and play some music along the way, too.

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2011 Maseno Maths Camp

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The 1st Maseno University Annual Maths Camp for high school students has been a resounding success, with over fifteen schools taking part and people travelling the whole length of the country to attend. From 7th-13th August 2011, students and teachers came to Maseno University for the weeklong camp exploring Mathematics from a new perspective. One major aim of the camp was to show how computers can help the teaching of mathematics.

The students were introduced to ideas in mathematics beyond their curriculum, such as game theory, spherical geometry and number theory through talks, discussions, games, activities and, of course, computer software. Students, some of who were using computers for the first time, were able to make new mathematical discoveries and explain difficult ideas through the use of free software including Wolfram CDF Player, Geogebra, CAST and Gapminder.

Mathematical games involving playing cards taught students about the importance of following rules and applying strategy to improve performance. All participants take home with them a resource pack including two dvds of resources containing a wealth of new information to share with their peers and colleagues at their own school. The students also take away two decks of cards and two geometric sculptures donated by Wolfram Research to help them spread the word that maths is more than just calculation.

Going beyond calculation makes maths both applicable and fun!

2010 Graduate Math Workshops

In December, 2010, Prof. David Stern coordinated two weeks of workshops for graduate students throughout Kenya. Invited speakers for the workshops were Bruce Bartlett (Lecturer in mathematics, Stellenbosch University, South Africa), Ben Davison (mathematics PHd student, Oxford), and Tom Denton (mathematics PHd student, University of California, Davis).

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The invited speakers provided workshop sessions on the topics of mathematical physics, algebraic combinatorics (representation theory and crystal bases), and algebraic geometry (projective and tropical geometry) relating to their current research. Graduate students from Maseno also presented on their own research topics and engaged in discussions with the invited speakers throughout the two weeks.

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Near the end of the second week, Prof. Stern and the invited speakers drove to Egerton University near Nakuru. The speakers gave brief presentations at Egerton and discussed the state of mathematics teaching and research with professors and staff. A trip to Lake Nakuru National Park and a day in Nairobi rounded out a successful trip!

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First international conference in mathematical sciences

‘The Centre for Applied Research in Mathematical Sciences (CARMS) of Strathmore University will hold its “First international conference in mathematical sciences” on August 18th-20th , 2011 at Strathmore University, Nairobi, Kenya. The conference will be preceded by three day workshops on appropriate topics.

‘The conference will feature plenary sessions, paper presentations, poster presentations, and be preceded by workshops. The presentations and workshops will aim to encourage collaborations among researchers and institutions involved in teaching and research in mathematical sciences.

‘It will give an opportunity for teachers, researchers, educators, and administrators to share innovative and productive ideas which deepen students’ understanding and sharpen their scientific and mathematical thinking skills. It will also enable participants to draw significant implications in promoting success in learning mathematical sciences and expose participants to research-based papers.

‘CONFERENCE THEME: “Strengthening Mathematics Research, Applications and Education in Africa”‘