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National Math Conference Comes to Portland Nov. 5

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A sizeable armada of mathematicians will converge on the city of Portland Nov. 5, armed with an eagerness to enhance math education across the country, when the 24th Annual Conference of the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges (AMATYC) gets underway at the Oregon Convention Center.

Portland Community College math instructor Dick Clark, the regional chairman for the conference, said nearly 1,200 math educators and professionals, representatives in industries reliant on math principles, and others will be presented with a full slate of activities and guest speakers.

The conference highlights what is new, hot and happening in the math world. "This is the most focused, coordinated effort for the advancement and preparation of math teaching in the United States," Clark said.

The conference will be from Nov. 5-7 at the convention center and, on the morning of Nov. 8, at the Doubletree Hotel at Lloyd Center, 1000 N.E. Multnomah. The theme for this year’s AMATYC conference is "Bridges," which Clark explains as math being responsible for bridging a student’s success in an increasingly high-tech work environment.

"What we are trying to do is build and strengthen math education to bridge the gap between where students are today and where they want to go," he said.

Math enthusiasts from as far away as the Dominican Republic will be coming to Portland to soak up mathematical concepts such as "Trigonomic Identities from a Pythagorean Perspective" and other less technical endeavors like an Internet workshop and a session on how to inject a little humor into the classroom for better learning.

Speakers this year include Miriam Leiva, the director of Project EXCEL Math at the University of North Carolina and a math professor there, Dick Minnix, professor Emeritus of Physics at Virginia Military Institute (VMI) and U.S. Rep. Buck McKeon of California, chair of the finance subcommittee Post-secondary Training and Continuing and Adult Education.

A panel discussion with representatives from Intel, Hewlett Packard, Boeing and Tektronix on what their math needs are from a business perspective is also scheduled.

"We hope this keeps people up to date on math education and lets them exchange ideas with one another," Clark added. "Hopefully this conference lets them know that they are not alone out there."

For more information on the AMATYC conference, contact Dick Clark at 977-4668.

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