Imagine Math Day
The Mathematics of Voting
Saturday, March 1, 2008
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. Participants in the 2006 Imagine Math Day explored graph theory and graph complexity; in 2007, we explored non-Euclidean geometries. As this is an election year, we'll be exploring the mathematics of voting.

Teachers and students discussing possible solutions to a problem involving graph theory

Students working on posters summarizing their ideas on graph complexity
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 has made possible by funding from the IAS/Park City Mathematics Institute, Mellon Foundation, HMC2020 Strategic Vision Fund, 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 1, 2008, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 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 at Platt Living Room and Patio
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: Participants do not need any prior experience on the mathematics of voting. Anyone with some experience with algebra will be able to participate fully.

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, February 25, 2008.

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 was Monday, February 25.


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.)

Free parking is available 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 700 students of high ability; approximately one third of them are National Merit Finalists and one quarter are high school valedictorians. 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 5000 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 40 students who do and go on to do amazing things. More than half of HMC math graduates go on to graduate school.