Youngstown State University College of STEM and the YSU STEM Mathematics and Statistics department held the 11th Annual MathFest on Thursday, October 3rd, 2013. High school students from thirty-five area schools attended this year’s festivities. There were over 350 students learning about different mathematics principles while hanging out with different faculty and YSU students.
“What brought us to MathFest [was] the opportunity for students to see math from a different point of view that what they’d typically get from a textbook,” Tom Cochran, a teacher from Hickory High School in Hermitage, Pennsylvania, said. “It also gives students a chance to hear about some of the things a mathematics degree might allow them to do throughout their college years and in their eventual careers that follow.”
Students were taken around Kilcawley and the Lincoln building for different workshops. Featured in some of the workshops were different faculty and even some students. In one workshop, Experiences of Math Majors, YSU student mathematicians reached out to the students. The mathematics majors informed the audience on what they planned to do with their degrees.
“We wanted to show high school students, who may only be a few years younger than us, the diverse opportunities readily available to them if they chose to attend college and major in mathematics,” says Eric Shehadi, who was recently appointed as a new student trustee. This was Eric’s second year as the Student MathFest Coordinator.
The students enjoyed the challenges of new concepts and learned that mathematicians can do more than just calculator work. One particular workshop demonstrated the types of techniques that employers use to gauge the problem-solving ability of candidates; the “Why Should We Hire You?” workshop used questions and brainteasers from nationally known companies such as Google.