By Sam Gross
Although the Math Club was only officially recognized in October 2013 by the Student Government Association, it has already begun a series of programs to ensure its lasting place at Washington College. In its initial creation, it asked for no money, and it cited a desire to “participate in competitions and bring speakers to discuss career pathways on campus.”
Though it is only less than a semester old, the club has hit the ground running with its plans and activities. Each meeting brings a new event or idea, as the club will do anything from working with Rubik’s cubes to having Sudoku or Kakuro (a more intense version of Sudoku) contests, to working with LaTeX, a math formula writing program, to discussing future plans and ideas. “We like to do things that are math related but also fun,” said new co-president, sophomore Kelly Okerblom.
The club’s advisor is Shirley Law, assistant professor of mathematics, who had a substanstial role in starting the club on campus. Co-presidents Heidi Faulkner and Lindsay Wieser handed the executive reigns to new Co-Presidents, Okerblom and Bryten Ives, Vice President Brian Gicking, and Secretary Maisie Newman. Additionally, James Chillog is in charge of documenting service hours and Oren Steinber is the SGA Liaison, a position that will handle working directly with the SGA, while Laurel Jones is working on creating a Math Honor Society to complement the club.
“We wanted to have a Math Honor Society, and in order to have that you need to have an active Math Club,” said Faulkner. “Dr. Law was really eager to get it going, and gave us a push in getting it started.”
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The club has already planned and done a lot since they were established. Over winter break, they visited New York City to visit the Musuem of Mathematics. “Our advisor was able to get us to stay in a loft, so it was a pretty cool deal,” said Okerblom. They also held a textbook sale. Professor Aaron Amick donated the books, and the club sold them for a dollar each. At Spring Fling, they hosted “Pi a Professor”, including Heather Russell, Shirley Law, Nathaniel Schwartz, Austin Lobo, and Shaun Ramsey as victims. They even formed a Relay for Life team, the Matheletes, and held a bake sale, selling all sorts of unique baked goods.
As the club grows each year, they plan on doing more. Okerblom said, “We’re hoping to do at least one big trip a year.” Upcoming plans for the next year include an activity in Annapolis.
They also plan on doing more bake and textbook sales, as well as beginning to look into undergraduate math conferences.
The Club meets every Thursday at 7 p.m. in Toll Science Center. Any interested members are encouraged to contact either Okerblom (email@example.com) or Ives (firstname.lastname@example.org).