Family Mathematics Program for Grades 7–10

Information below is from the 2016 program. Please check back in the spring for new information about a program to be scheduled April 14, 2018.

Together with Johns Hopkins University's Center for Talented Youth (CTY), the Cornell Mathematics Department and Center for Applied Mathematics will hold an all-day mathematics program for students in grades 7-10 and their parents/caregivers.

Keynote Talk

Professor Tara Holm, who recently chaired the American Mathematical Society's Committee on Education, will deliver the keynote address on the topology of trousers. In her talk, she will demonstrate how to turn her trousers inside out without taking them off. [ Download: presentation slides ]

Breakout Sessions

How to Win. Mathematicians are really into games. Much like math, games are playful and encourage strategic exploration. In this session we will discover some winning - and losing - approaches to games. For more information: Discovering the Art of Mathematics

The Mathematics of Dancing. People have enjoyed dancing for thousands of years. One of the main reasons dancing is popular is that we find it beautiful, and its beauty has a lot to do with its symmetry. In this session we will explore the symmetry of some simple dance moves and use it to motivate the notion of a group of transformations, which is ubiquitous in modern mathematics. We will discuss different properties of the groups obtained from dances, and see the implications of our abstract analysis to the dance patterns. One particular result will be a complete classification of all possible ways to dance on a line. [ Download: presentation slides ]

It’s a Chaotic Life! From traffic jams to the weather, everyday life can seem pretty chaotic. But is there actually some guiding principle behind these events? In this session we'll explore how scientists connect real-world observations to mathematical models and simulations in order to understand why certain parts of our lives can seem unpredictable. We'll show that some of the simplest systems can exhibit some of the strangest behaviors! [ Downloads: notes, activity I, activity II, activity II filled, logistic map ]

Intended Audience

Grades 7-10 students and their parents/guardians


Saturday, November 5, 2016
Location: 2nd floor of Malott Hall, Cornell University

Tentative Agenda

9:00–10:00 a.m. Check-in
10:00–10:10 a.m. Welcome and opening remarks
10:10–11:00 a.m. Keynote Speaker
Prof. Tara Holm, Cornell Mathematics Department
11:00–11:15 a.m. Break and transition time
11:15–12:15 p.m. Student and parent breakout session I
12:15–1:00 p.m. Lunch
1:00–2:00 p.m. Student and parent breakout session II
2:00–2:15 p.m. Break and transition time
2:15–3:15 p.m. Student and parent breakout session III
3:15–3:30 p.m. Evaluation and concluding remarks
3:45–4:45 p.m. Optional campus tour


If you need accommodations to participate in this event, please contact Dr. Mary Ann Huntley ( as soon as possible.


Step 1: Submit the information requested below.  Step 2: Complete the CTY Family Academic Programs Registration Form and send the registration fee to JHU-CTY. (Instructions are included on the registration form.) The registration deadline is October 30th.

Student’s Name:
Grade Level:
Math Class in progress:
Math Teacher’s Name:
Name of Parent/Guardian:
Relationship to Child:
Email Address:



Contact Dr. Mary Ann Huntley (