QED 2016: Pursuing Your Own Question

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130 students from all over Chicago turned out for QED 2016. QED is a kind of math festival, with kids posing and answering their own questions. It’s education in it’s purest form. To get a flavor for QED, here’s a list of projects:

Junior Level–5th and 6th grade

  • The Perfect Pool Table: Predicting a Ball’s Path
  • Pokemon Go Pythagorean Theorem
  • Where to Meet to Trick or Treat

Intermediate Level–7th to 9th grade

  • Unattacked Queens
  • Game Theory Through Checkers
  • Five Men, One Monkey
  • City Crime & Safety
  • Algorithm for Recognizing Raga Patterns
  • The Perfect Basketball Shot
  • Bushes, Rupees, and Probability
  • Duck-Duck-DEAD

Senior Level–10th to 12th grade

  • Battlecode
  • Vieta Jumping
  • The Collatz Conjecture in Relation to the Euclidean Algorithm, Fermat’s Last Theorem, Linear Combinations, and Peano Arithmetic
  • Geowrapping
  • Lineup Optimization in Baseball
  • Proving Orientable Surfaces Have Even Euler Characteristic through Graph Theory

The variety of projects was remarkable, and the quality superb. Our judges–PhD students, mathematicians, leading math teachers from CPS, and community members whose work connect to mathematics–were often blown away. More than once I heard something to the effect of, ‘That kid is going to be a mathematician. We need to make sure it happens!’

We owe thanks to our speaker, Eugenia Cheng, and our sponsors, including Citadel and Intel. Our judges also deserve a word of thanks, and last, but far from least, thanks to the sponsoring teachers who supported the students who participated. Check out our photo gallery to get a direct view of QED.

My dream (for the moment) is to have 200 kids attend QED 2017. Let us know if you are interested!