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M-PACT Information for Parents and Students:

Why should I/my child attend M-PACT?

At M-PACT, we believe that everyone should learn how to do math creatively, which, because of various factors such as pressure to perform well on standardized tests, is not often something done in the classroom. As professional mathematicians, we know that being good at math means being able to create mathematics, which is a process that varies from individual to individual.

The weekly sessions we run are meant to bring out that individual mathematical creativity in each student, rather than to make them conform to some prescribed notion of “good at math.” We do this by making the learning process as hands-on as possible, and by learning through discussion, letting each student have a voice. There is no penalty for “being wrong” and no grade assigned. All we ask is that the student participate as best as he or she can.

Why is it good to be good at math? It isn’t just because being good at math opens the door to many opportunities for careers in technology, science, engineering, and so on. At M-PACT, we believe math gives us the power to think critically, to analyze the world around us, and to be able to solve problems in the real world effectively. This kind of skill is invaluable both in life, and on the job market.

In addition, attending M-PACT means getting to know professors and students at UC Davis, as well as getting to visit the campus and see how college works. The goal is that our M-PACT participants will gradually see the benefits of attending college and learn how to optimize one’s chances for getting in to a college of their choice.

Who will be teaching? Who designs the activities?

The activities will be led by a new group from the UC Davis mathematics department every week, although many of us will come for more than one activity. These groups will be comprised of undergraduate mathematics majors and graduate students (often those with a specific interest in becoming math teachers) and professors from UC Davis. The activities are designed with the help of professors and students together.

How will my child get home?

Specially arranged school buses will take students home after the program. Before the program, students may choose to have supper at 2:30PM.

I have more questions. Whom do I ask?

Send us an email at mpact@math.ucdavis.edu.