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About The NMC

What is the Nashville Math Club?

The Nashville Math Club is a program for all students in grades 6-12 who like mathematics and want to learn more. Students will meet weekly to work with Vanderbilt faculty on a number of activities designed to broaden mathematical problem solving skills, going beyond the regular classroom curricula to discover the beauty of mathematics. Students will learn about many deep topics such as non-Euclidean geometry, the strangeness of infinity and mathematical paradoxes, logic, and the mathematics of networks.

Costs and Expectations

The Nashville Math Club is completely free of charge. Students are expected to fill out an application form before the first meeting and to bring a signed parental consent form.  We expect active participation from all students and a commitment to regular attendance of the club as material is cumulative. We also hope that everyone has fun!

Sample questions:

Here are some examples of topics and questions we may cover.

  • What is 0.9999999… ?
  • Why does the Golden Ratio show up so much in nature?
  • Is it really true that one can cut an apple into 5 pieces, rearrange them and obtain two apples of the same size, doubling the volume of apples without creating any new material?
  • How can one turn a sphere inside out?
  • What is infinity? Are all “infinities” the same size? How can infinite hotels with all rooms full accommodate infinitely many more guests?
  • If a local barber shaves everyone who does not shave themselves, and shaves only those people, then does that barber shave themselves?
  • Do triangles always have angles which add up to 180 degrees, or are there shapes where triangles can have angles adding up to different numbers? Are there “exotic” geometry theories where all triangles are isosceles and every point inside a circle is the center of that circle?
  • Three intelligent mice found a piece of cheese. How should they arrange dividing it so that each mouse would be sure to get at least 1/3 of the cheese.
  • 24 cannibals attended a cannibal party. It is known that among every three cannibals at the party, one ate another. Show that after the party there were 8 nested cannibals (cannibal 1 ate cannibal 2, who ate cannibal 3, etc.).

NMC Code of Conduct

Participants are expected to arrive on time and ready to learn and have fun. Please email one of the organizers if your child will be unable to attend.

  • NMC supports students at all stages of learning math; participants are not expected to know all the answers but are expected to stay on task, think creatively, and work both independently and in a group of peers.
  • Participants should treat each other with respect and be supportive of the learning process.
  • The following is not permitted and participants exhibiting these may be dismissed from the Club:
    1. Hurtful, bullying or abusive behavior to others.

    2. Inappropriate conduct toward peers or NMC faculty and facilitators.

    3. Use and/or possession of weapons, drugs and alcohol.

    4. Destruction of property or theft.