Gateway to Exploring Mathematical Sciences: CURRENT YEAR: 2017-2018

What is GEMS?

The Gateway to Exploring Mathematical Sciences program (GEMS) is a once monthly, Saturday morning workshop designed to get young students excited about math and science.  GEMS is designed to reach eighth, ninth and tenth grade students who may have an interest in mathematics or science. The workshops present mathematics and science applications in an exciting way that catches young students’ interest from the surrounding areas. Professors, undergraduates and graduate students from each of the six colleges in the Claremont Consortium take part in the GEMS program, thus offering the incoming students, their parents, and teachers a chance to meet and work with the large variety of excellent and award winning faculty, staff, students and alumni at the Claremont Colleges. The GEMS program helps excite the interests and curiosity of young students and shows them how amazing and satisfying the mathematical sciences can be.


GEMS is grateful to the following sponsors:

the Edison International Foundation for financial support for the events this semester

To learn more about Edison International visit this link:


Claremont Graduate University’s Blais Foundation Challenge Award and Research Initiatives



Address: 1021 N Dartmouth Avenue Claremont CA 91711. The Drucker building (CGU School of Management, also called Burkle) is bounded on the North by 11th St, (now called Drucker for one block). It is bounded on the South by 10th St, on the East by Dartmouth Ave, and on the West by College Ave . The room is located below street level and is best accessed from the outside, say from walkways close to the SE corner. Map is at

Parking: Participants can park on any of the surrounding streets. In addition there is a parking lot adjacent, on the N side of 11th St.

Parking:  Participants can park on any of the surrounding streets for free.

Program Format : The Saturday morning workshops begin at 10:00 and go through to 12:00 noon. They typically begin with a forty-five minute presentation by a professor, then a break with a snack, followed by a forty-five minute breakout session, in which students in small groups conduct their own hands-on personal exploration. Each breakout group consists of approximately six to eight students and is assisted by the colleges' undergraduate and graduate students. The breakout sessions are followed by group presentations, posters, explanations, and discussion.

Transportation for the young students is provided by the respective school districts (bus, van, carpooling by parents, teachers, etc) or personal transportation and the site for the 2017 GEMS program is in the Drucker Building on Claremont Graduate University's campus (see directions above).  Registration is open and free of charge to all students in the eighth, ninth and tenth grades. Because each session is independent from the other sessions, a student may choose to participate in one workshop, or all of the workshops. However once a student has experienced one session, it is unlikely he or she will want to miss a single one.


2017-2018 Year


Fall 2017 Dates

October 7 at 10 AM
Location: Burkle 16, Claremont Graduate University
Speaker: Professor Weiqing Gu, Harvey Mudd College

Topic: Mobius Bands
Abstract: In this presentation, you will learn a lot of important advanced mathematical concepts, theories, and applications just by visualizing the intuitive geometry behind them without deep theoretical definitions.  We have also designed some hands-on expedients for getting your hands dirty to learn some advanced mathematics concept.  You will also see many many examples demonstrating why geometry is fun, powerful, and useful.
 November 4 at 10 AM
 Pre-register here: (eventbrite link)
Location: Burkle, Claremont Graduate University


December 2 at 10 AM
Pre-register here:
Location: Burkle, Claremont Graduate University



Fall 2016 Dates


October 1st Event, 10 AM

Drucker Building, CGU, room 12 (Just down the hall in the same building)

Address: 1021 N Dartmouth Avenue Claremont CA 91711 

Speaker: Blake Hunter

Topic: Walking OutbreakUsing Dice and Mathematics to Model the Spread of a Disease

Abstract: This project uses dice and mathematics to model the spread of disease. As survivors of an zombie virus epidemic you are exploring the world with other survivors. After one survivor becomes infected, the disease starts to spread through the population. Can the disease be isolated or will the zombie virus take over the world? Using some mathematical logic, probability and exponential modeling, we will analysis the outbreak and come up with a plan to try and stop the epidemic. 


November 5th Event, 10 AM

Speaker: Judy Grabiner

Topic: The most powerful principle in mathematics meets the odds in a Native American game

Abstract: This session will explore the "multiplication principle," the most powerful principle in finite mathematics. We willuse the principle to solve non-obvious problems and model the probabilities in the Native American game of "Dish."  Prepare to learn how to count with out counting, figure out what to expect while gambling, and discover a fun game to bring back home! 


December 10th Event, 10 AM

Speaker: Marina Chugunova

Topic: Geometry of Castles and Forts

Abstract: TBA major feature of most civilizations has been the need to protect themselves from other civilizations and this has led to the building of many castles and forts.How can math help build these in an optimal way?  This talk will discuss many ways to optimize the safety of forts and castles.


Previous Programs

Speaker: Marina Chugunova   Topic: How to catch a liar.

Speaker: Alfonso Castro   Topic: Plane Geometry and Real Numbers

Speaker: Angel Chavez   Topic: Brownian Motion and Random Walks

Speaker: Dr. Jemma Lorenat   Topic: Inescapable Logic

Speaker:  Shanda Nelson Topic: Symmetry 

Speaker: Shahriar Shariari   Topic:  Can you make a soccer ball using only 12 pentagons and 20 hexagons? How about with 13 pentagons and 12 hexagons? 

Speaker: Blake Hunter   Topic: Matheematics of Tessellations 

And many more since 2008...


GEMSspring2015.pdf1.61 MB