HOME    »    PROGRAMS/ACTIVITIES    »    Annual Thematic Program
Math is Cool!
Who Wants to Be a Mathematician?
November 3, 2006

Blackwell-Tapia Conference, November 3-4, 2006

A/V Recording: part i (ram)  part ii (ram)

On November 3, 2006, the IMA produced a program for high school juniors and seniors from around the Twin Cities, leveraging the presence on campus of an extraordinary collection of mathematicians, largely from under-represented groups, who had come for the 2006 Blackwell-Tapia Conference. 100 students, accompanied by a dozen teachers, participated in the program. They came from Arlington Senior High School, Central Senior High School, Como Park Senior High School, Hennepin County Home School, Humboldt Senior High School, Johnson Senior High School, and Roosevelt High School.


  • Math is Cool!
    • The Curse of Lane 8 (a mathematical approach to BMX bicycle racing lane assignments), Richard Tapia.
    • Heavy Metal (making of a simulation-based music video), Josef Sifuentes.
  • Who Wants to Be a Mathematician?, a panel discussion with Tapia, Sifuentes, Rodrigo Bañuelos, William Massey, and Margaret Wright, moderated by Sheila Tobias.

Richard Tapia, a prominent mathematician who has served on presidential advisory boards and was the first Hispanic elected to the prestigious National Academy of Engineering, will explain how he used math to improve the adventure sport of BMX bicycle racing. Find out how he defeated "the curse of lane eight."
     Tapia with his Chevy.
Josef Sifuentes graduated college with a math/art double major, and is now getting his PhD in math. Josef will explain how he combined his artistic side with his mathematical side to create the psychedelic music video Heavy Metal.
Sifuentes with his mural.        

Complex equations were used to produce this image from Heavy Metal.
A million dollar prize has been offered for solving them!

These and other renowned mathematicians will take plart in discussion entitled "Who wants to be a mathematician? Find out what a mathematican really does. Is it interesting? Fun? What's it good for? Where can it lead? Come see what mathematicians are really like: you may be surprised!

Rodrigo Bañuelos

William A. Massey

Josef Sifuentes

Richard Tapia

Margaret H. Wright
Connect With Us: