Maypole Dancing w/ Student Blog

Posted on: 
Thursday, December 22, 2016 - 5:55pm

Dear Colleagues, Friends, & Supporters,

The fall semester is done and we are reflecting on some of our wonderful experiences. In this month's blog we are publishing a student blog about the (meta) connections of mathematics, running and maypole dancing. We also include video footage and student work about the mathematics of maypole dancing.

Phil Hotchkiss and Christine von Renesse are looking forward to going to the joint mathematics meetings in a few weeks. This year we will not have a booth, but instead give two talks (Humanistic Mathematics and RUME session) and present our work at the NSF poster session. We would love to connect with many of you over a cup of coffee at some point during the conference. Let us know if you are around and interested.

Also, if you would like to visit Westfield and join some IBL classes for a day or two, we have updated our schedule for Spring 2017 and would love to collaborate with you!


Julian Fleron, Phil Hotchkiss, Volker Ecke, & Christine von Renesse.

This Fall (2016) the 13 students in my honors mathematical explorations class embarked on the journey of understanding some mathematical ideas behind maypole dancing. In this blog you can find some videos about maypole dancing, student work proving our conjectures and a beautiful writing project by Sarah Dunn about mathematics, running and maypole dancing.

Students dancing around a maypole in their mathematics class.

Sarah Dunn, student in the Honors Learning Community for "Mathematical Explorations" and "English Composition," reflects on connections between the challenges of running and grappling with the mathematics of maypole dancing. She sees connections in the role played by community support, the thrill of venturing into the unknown, and the passion in pursuing a personal challenge.