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CHAOS AND COMPUTERS INSTITUTE FOR PHILADELPHIA TEACHERS

(1997 announcement)

Program Outline: Chaos and fractals are mathematical concepts which are proving broadly significant in understanding a wide variety of natural phenomena in the sciences and beyond. This institute, sponsored by Bryn Mawr College under a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, will provide selected teachers with an intensive exposure to chaos theory and fractals. Participants will discover many of the concepts of chaos theory for themselves through hands-on computer experiments. It is intended that these experiences will provide as well as increased familiarity with computer based educational methods in general. Participants will also gain experience in using the internet to find information and materials of relevance to their teaching.

The institute directors are Dr. Victor Donnay and Dr. Deepak Kumar, of the Department of Mathematics at Bryn Mawr College. Professor Donnay's area of research is chaotic dynamical systems, specifically billiard systems. As a teacher, he has worked to incorporate cooperative learning and computer based lab experiments into his courses. Professor Kumar is a computer scientist with research interests in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics and computational modeling

Institute Requirements and Follow-up: Fellows will be expected to play an active role in the Institute, helping to develop effective ways to translate recent advances in the fields of chaos and computer-based education into significant components of the curriculum. In addition to active participation in discussion during the two week summer session, Fellows will be expected to prepare a written proposal describing plans to make use of Institute experiences in their own classrooms, to experiment with these during the following academic year, to participate in several follow up meetings during the year, and to prepare a report of the their year's activities which can be posted on a World Wide Web site so as to be available to other interested teachers.

Institute Schedules and Location: This Institute will take place at Bryn Mawr College from 21 July through 1 August. Sessions will be held from 9 am. to 4 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays. Lunch will be provided.

Eligibility: High school and middle school teachers of mathematics, physics, and science are eligible. Preference will be given to teams of teachers from high schools and middle schools which serve overlapping student populations; selected primary school teachers might be admitted as part of such teams (please indicate team memberships on the applications forms) . Enrollment will be limited to eighteen. Incentives: All participants will receive a $500 stipend. An additional $300 per participant to purchase educational supplies and materials will be available to those submitting cogent curriculum proposals and agreeing to provide a written report on their experiences.

Principal's Commitment: Institute participation requires signature of principal. For more information: Deepak Kumar (610 526-7485, dkumar@brynmawr.edu) or Victor Donnay (610 526-5352, vdonnay@brynmawr.edu), Department of Mathematics, Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, Pa. 19010. FAX to either: 610 526-5086.


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