The Creation of the Second Mathematics Day at Hostos Community College:
An Invitation to Faculty, Staff, and Administrators to Participate in a Creative Collaboration Session for a High Impact Event.
The theme of the first Mathematics Day at Hostos on April 5th, 2016 was “Living Mathematics – The Importance of Mathematics in Our Lives.” The event provided the academic community at Hostos with an intellectual experience to actively embark on a collective quest to find out how mathematics serves our lives outside the classroom…or as many of our students would say “in real life.”
The event was inspired by (1) our students’ curiosity and their continuous effort to make sense of the world and of academic life, (2) the great diversity of the Hostos community, and (3) the in-tellectually rich, sharing, and very creative faculty, staff and administrators that I have had the privilege to work with.
There is a special beauty in mathematics that is unfortunately not easily identified by students at early academic stages. Yet students sense its existence as they strive to connect what they learn in class to what they sense as their reality. Students often question instructors in mathematics classes: “Why do I need to learn this? When would I use this? ”
Mathematics is all around us. It is found everywhere in nature as well as in man-made systems. Yes, mathematics is much more than what our students experience in the classroom, however very seldom (if ever) do we have the opportunity to discuss the role of mathematics outside of the classroom, in day-to-day experiences and/or real life issues.
The first Mathematics Day at Hostos was in response to our students’ needs. All activities were intended to promote the experience of “living mathematics” from a multidisciplinary perspective rather than the perspective of “mathematics as an abstract subject that is required in order to graduate.”
The event had an impressive amount of support and collaboration from several departments, centers, programs, offices, committees, faculty, and students at the college. The high impact of the first Mathematics Day proved the power of participative planning and collective participation at the institutional level.
We are now working on the second Mathematics Day at Hostos, which is projected for Spring 2017. The anticipated theme is “The Power of Mathematics – A Quest to Find Out How Mathematics Empowers People in Today’s Society.” To achieve a high impact and quality event that we could deliver as a community, we need to examine this theme from all different angles and disciplines.
As the event coordinator and chairperson of the Mathematics Day Organizing Committee, I would like to express my gratitude to all collaborators, sponsors, donors, volunteers and committee members whose commitment, hard work and support helped to make the first Mathematics Day at Hostos a major success. Thank you very much.