Imagine Math Day
Graph Complexity
Saturday, March 9, 2013
Department of Mathematics
Harvey Mudd College
Claremont, California
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General Information

Imagine Math is a day of mathematical activities, exploration and inquiry designed for high school mathematics teachers and students. In previous years, participants have explored non-Euclidean geometries, the mathematics of voting, and graph theory. This year, we will collect, explore and analyze data.

Teachers and students discussing possible solutions to a problem

Students working on posters summarizing their ideas
Lunch in the Platt Living Room

Students and faculty discussing ideas during a gallery walk
Students working on a poster on non-Euclidean geometry

Teachers exploring geometry in the hyperbolic plane
"[This activity] reminded me how enjoyable math can be for students. Sometimes, we teachers get caught up on covering all the material and not taking the time to let students experience and live the math."
-- from a teacher attending the 2006 Imagine Math Day

Imagine Math Day is not a contest--it's a time for students and teachers to investigate and explore mathematics just for the sheer enjoyment of it. It's also not just for "math whizzes"--anyone who wants to learn more math can participate.

"Math is usually considered something with one right answer, but [I see now that] there is room for interpretation."
"[I learned] there's more to math than memorizing quadratic formula [sic]. It showed math isn't just formulas, but you need to think."
-- from students attending the 2006 Imagine Math Day

Imagine Math Day is hosted by the Department of Mathematics at Harvey Mudd College, and is made possible by funding from the Mary P. Dolciani Halloran Foundation through the Mathematical Association of America ( and the HMC Math Dept. The event is being organized by the Harvey Mudd College Professional Development and Outreach Group.


Imagine Math will take place on Saturday, March 9, 2013, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Green Room in the Platt Campus Center at Harvey Mudd College.

9:30 - 10:00 a.m. Registration and refreshments
10:00 a.m. - noon Session 1: Introductory explorations
noon - 1 p.m. Lunch
1:00 - 2:30 p.m. Session 2: Open-ended exploration
(Teachers meet separately)
2:30 - 3:00 p.m. Gallery walk and closing

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What mathematics background is required for participants?
A: It might help for students to have a little experience with geometry, but anyone with an inquisitive mind will be well equipped to participate.

Q: How much does it cost to attend Imagine Math Day?
A: There is no cost to attend and lunch will be provided to all participants. However, participants must register by Monday, March 4, 2013.

Q: Do we have to attend both sessions?
A: Yes. The two sessions build on each other, so it is not possible for participants to attend the afternoon session without the attending the morning session.

Q: What do we need to bring?
A: Most importantly, bring your enthusiasm, energy and an open mind for a day of fun and interesting mathematics! Materials and supplies will be provided, but if you prefer to use your own paper, pencils, color markers, and calculator, you might want to bring them along.

If you have any further questions, please email Darryl Yong at


There is no cost to attend, but registration is required as space is limited and lunch is being served.

The deadline for online registration is Monday, March 4. Teachers should use the following form to register for the conference. We would prefer for each teacher to bring at most five students.

Conference Registration Form
Teacher's Name:
Full mailing address:

Email address:
Students' names:


Harvey Mudd College is located at 301 Platt Blvd, Claremont CA 91711, in the eastern Los Angeles area. Click here for driving directions from various points in Southern California. (Please note that the portion of 12th Street running through campus has been recently renamed to Platt Blvd.)

The event will take place in the Green Room in the Platt Campus Center at Harvey Mudd College.Free parking is available in the parking lot at the corner of Dartmouth Ave and Foothill Blvd and along Foothill Blvd.

A campus map is available at

Information for Professional Development Facilitators

An article about Imagine Math Day appeared in the August/September 2008 issue of Focus Magazine, published by the Mathematica Association of America. The HMC PDO Group invites you to use materials from previous Imagine Math Days for your own professional development or outreach activities. If you would like to receive electronic copies of the materials used for previous Imagine Math Days, please send an email to Darryl Yong. These materials are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License, which means that you can freely edit and redistribute these materials as long as you do not commercialize them and you attribute the original authors. We would also appreciate hearing about how the materials were used and your experiences with them.
Creative Commons License

About Harvey Mudd College

Harvey Mudd College is a private, liberal arts undergraduate institution of science, engineering and mathematics. The college enrolls about 760 students of high ability; approximately one third of them are National Merit Finalists and 35% are high school valedictorians or salutatorians. HMC is a member of the Claremont College consortium, which includes four other undergraduate colleges (Pomona, Claremont McKenna, Scripps, Pitzer) and two graduate institutions (Claremont Graduate University and Keck Graduate Institute), forming an academic community of about 6000 students.

The Department of Mathematics at Harvey Mudd College recently received the 2006 Award for an Exemplary Program or Achievement in a Mathematics Department from the American Mathematical Society. Each year, the math department graduates roughly 45 students who do amazing things. More than half of HMC math graduates go on to graduate school.