About The Problem Solving Club

- It is a get-together of people who enjoy the thrill of solving math problems. It is about sharing some intriguing math problems but also about socializing with people with the same interest. Just as bridge or square dance enthusiasts organize clubs in order to practice their hobby and socialize with like-minded people.
- Proposed problems are at high school level. We do not strictly restrict them to what the Ontario curriculum contains now, but what traditionally has been considered high school math. For instance, we should definitely include Euclidian geometry, complex numbers or mathematical induction. Even number theory proofs should be ok as long as they do not involve “fancy” theorems (eg: Fermat’s or Wilson’s theorems). Calculus could be avoided , unless it appears tangentially as an alternate approach or is required to solve something neat in, say, probability (Buffon’s needle problem comes to mind).
- Problems should not require long, tedious, mechanically intensive solutions. The main criteria of selection should be: fun, intriguing, surprising, useful new approach….The problems should not be textbook/trivial but neither ultra-difficult. Of course, no USAMO or IMO level of difficulty.
- The club is NOT about math teaching methodology, curriculum, rubrics or smart boards. While these are essential tools for the math teacher, it is not their place here but in other forums such as OAME, ISOMA etc… Our club is about the love of math problem solving that is also widely shared outside the classroom. (Some of our participants are not math teachers.) On the other hand, teachers will surely find some good problems to use in the classroom.
- No high school students in our club. If we are just among "adults" we can be more informal than we would with our students around. (There are also other reasons for this decision.) University students (undergrads or grads) are welcome.
- The format:
- We meet about once a month for 2-3 hours, starting at 5:30 pm.
- Each session has a moderator. Usually one of the members volunteers to be the moderator for a particular session. Other participants send the moderator – a few days before the session – one or two problems they find interesting. (Problems should typically require 5 – 20 min solving time each – no more, please.). The moderator collects them all and distributes them in a handout at the session. The participants have about 1.5 hours to work on the problems and then solutions are discussed on the board.
- At each session, each participant contributes with $10 to cover pizza, drinks and cookies. Money left over is kept for following sessions.
- We may have door prizes – cool math books on history of math, for instance.
- We may have a math trivia quiz.
- Other activities (e.g.: brief presentations) could also take place if there is interest.

- The club must maintain a friendly, collegial and respectful atmosphere. Experienced problem solvers will not dominate the discussion; everyone will be encouraged to participate. We are all here to learn and to forge collegial relationships.