Gateway to Exploring Mathematical Sciences: CURRENT YEAR: 2015-2016

2015-2016 Year

Spring 2016 Dates

GEMS is grateful to the Edison International Foundation for financial support for the events this semester

March 12th

Speaker: Marina Chugunova

Topic: How to catch a liar.

Abstract: We live in a world that is full of information; where it is important that we store and transmit this information carefully, without mistakes. Can mathematics help us to do this? Absolutely! Richard Hamming (1915 - 1998) was an American mathematician whose work revolutionized computer engineering.  Among his many famous contributions to telecommunications was the, now widely used, concept of Hamming distance.  Join us to learn more about this!

February 13th

Speaker: Alfonso Castro

Topic: Plane Geometry and Real Numbers

Abstract: The pythagorean theorem, Fermat's last problem, existance of irrational, and an introduction of what a real number is based on the concept of a decimal number will be presented. 


April 16th

Speaker: Angel Chavez

Topic: Brownian Motion and Random Walks

Abstract: Brownian motion and random walks are exciting mathematical ideas from the area of mathematics known as probability. First, we will learn exactly what these objects are, then we will learn how to build our very own random walks (and Brownian motions). 

*Participants limited to 70 and pre-registration is required.


December 12th Event 10 AM 

Drucker Building, CGU, Room 16

Address: 1021 N Dartmouth Avenue Claremont CA 91711 *Please note address change*

Speaker: Dr. Jemma Lorenat

Topic: Inescapable Logic

    What is the best way to win an argument? One tool, logic, has proved to be a powerful tool for thousands of years.  Using basic logic principles we will solve riddles, settle arguments, and practice mathematical reasoning.


November 7th Event, 10 AM

Drucker Building, CGU, room 16

Address: 1021 N Dartmouth Avenue Claremont CA 91711 *Please note address change*

Speaker:  Shanda Nelson

Topic: Symmetry is a major topic of mathemtics and pattern making. Historical and modern mathematicians as well as artists have studied what kinds of shapes can fill a plane. Do the shapes need to be repeating? What about patterns in the three-dimensional world? We will draw inspriration from medieval Muslim art and twentieth century mathematics to create and understand the patterns we see every day. 




October 10th Event, 10 AM

Drucker Building, CGU, room 16

Address: 1021 N Dartmouth Avenue Claremont CA 91711 *Please note address change*

Speaker: Professor Shahriar Shariari of Pomona College

Topic:  Can you make a soccer ball using only 12 pentagons and 20 hexagons? How about with 13 pentagons and 12 hexagons? What patterns emerge in studying these things and what does any of this have to do with math?  



Location Change:  Experienced participants please not the change of venue: we are no longer meeting in the Bauer Center. This fall we will meet in the Drucker building on the Claremont Graduate University campus.  This building is bounded on the North by 11th street and is called Drucker for a block at street level. It is bounded on the South by 10th street and on the East by Dartmouth. The room is located below street level.

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

What is Gateway to Exploring Mathematical Sciences (GEMS)?

The Gateway to Exploring Mathematical Sciences program (GEMS) is a once monthly, Saturday morning workshop that was founded at the Claremont Colleges in the Fall 2008. It bas been so popular we are presenting it again for the Fall 2015. 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 these young students’ interest early. Included in the 2015-2016 GEMS program are students from the surrounding areas. Professors, undergraduates and graduate students from each of the six colleges in the Claremont Consortium will take part in the GEMS program, thus offering the incoming students, their parents, teachers, principals and counselors a chance to meet and work with the large variety of excellent and award winning faculty, staff and alumni at the Claremont Colleges. The goal is to allow each young student to become increasingly aware that mathematics and science experiences are fun and process-oriented rather than answer-oriented. The GEMS program will help excite the curiosity of these young students and show that higher education can be very exciting and satisfying.


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 2015-2016 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.

The GEMS program is co-sponsored by the Claremont Graduate University, School of Educational Studies, and the Claremont Center for Mathematical Sciences. For more information, please contact Marc Ditmore, GEMS Coordinator at









GEMSspring2015.pdf1.61 MB