## Alex West at TAG SEP |

Welcome to my site for my Talented and Gifted
Summer Enrichment Program (TAG SEP) classes. If you wish to know more about
TAG SEP (or other TAG programs) in general, go here; to find out more
about what *I* am doing at TAG SEP camp, read on below.

An incomplete version of my **Tofu Reading List** (that I pass out to my students each year) is up, and I will improve on it as I have time. Thanks to Han "Solo" Young for the suggestion to put it on my Website.

My course descriptions for this year (along with everyone else's) can be found here on the TAG SEP Website.

Due to a Website overhaul, my course descriptions for this year are temporarily unavailable. I will put them back up when I have time.

Due to a Website overhaul, my course descriptions for this year are temporarily unavailable. I will put them back up when I have time.

Due to a Website overhaul, my course descriptions for this year are temporarily unavailable. I will put them back up when I have time.

** For all those of you who wrote to me** since last summer, that I have not written back to yet, I would like to apologize. (You know who you are.) I bit off more than I could chew this past school year. Feel free to approach me during camp with any loose ends that you would like to discuss, if you are here.

**SPACETIME FOR CAMPERS**, 1st period, 2 sections per Session- A year of algebra is required for this class, and more mathematics is recommended. We will discuss space and time and the speed of light, and some of the ideas from Einstein's theory of Relativity, including the famous "E = mc squared." How can we understand things like black holes, which do not fit with our intuition of daily life? Is everyone's idea the same of how long it takes for something to occur? What is a wormhole? Take this class and we shall see.
**IMPORTANT:**Students who are planning on registering for this course, please fill out the enclosed question form, telling me about your math and science background and your interest in this class. However, although student input will help direct the class, I make**no promises**to answer all questions. **THIS HAS AN EXPLANATION**, 2nd period, 2 sections per Session- A year of algebra is strongly recommended for this class. This class will
try to answer some of those "Why?"s from mathematics and science (focusing on
physics, computers, engineering, etc.). Things like "What is heat, really?"
and "Why do we use the '=' sign for 'equals'?", and some other questions that
perhaps you never thought to ask. I may teach many of the same things that I
did in this course in previous years, so I recommend that those who have taken
this course before not take it again.
**IMPORTANT:**Students who are planning on registering for this course, please fill out the enclosed question form, suggesting a question you would like to have answered. However, although student input will help direct the class, I make**no promises**to answer all questions. **INTRODUCTION TO ALGEBRA: MATH AND SOME WAYS IT'S USED WITH COMPUTERS**, 3rd period, 2 sections per Session- This course is for those who have had little or no algebra. We will
discuss beginning algebra, and see how some of its ideas are used in the basic
workings of computers. This class is an
**introduction**-- math experts and computer programmers stay away!

**THIS HAS AN EXPLANATION**, 2nd period, 2 sections per Session- A year of algebra is strongly recommended for this class. This class will
try to answer some of those "Why?"s from mathematics and science (focusing on
physics, computers, engineering, etc.). Things like "What is heat, really?"
and "Why do we use the '=' sign for 'equals'?", and some other questions that
perhaps you never thought to ask. I may teach many of the same things that I
did in this course in previous years, so I recommend that those who have taken
this course before not take it again.
**IMPORTANT:**Students who are planning on registering for this course, please fill out the enclosed question form, suggesting a question you would like to have answered. However, although student input will help direct the class, I make**no promises**to answer all questions. **A WALK IN THE GARDEN OF LOGIC, MATH AND COGNITIVE SCIENCE**, 3rd period, 2 sections per Session- This course does not require any algebra. In this class we will discuss many different ideas about symmetry, logic, solving puzzles and more, using examples drawn from mathematics and related areas. We will cover analogies and isomorphisms, and play with the Prisoner's Dilemma. This course will be based in part on the work of Douglas Hofstadter, including such books as "Gödel, Escher, Bach."
**INTRODUCTION TO TOPOLOGY**, 1st period, 2 sections per Session- A year of geometry is recommended for this course. Topology is a type of geometry which focuses on stretching, gluing, cutting and distorting shapes in certain ways, and seeing what results. What mathematical properties do a doughnut and a coffee cup have in common? What does "nearness" really mean, and what is the true nature of space? Let's try to find out.

**THIS HAS AN EXPLANATION**, 2nd period, 1 section per Session- A year of algebra is strongly recommended for this class. This class will
try to answer some of those "Why?"s from mathematics and science (focusing on
physics, computers, engineering, etc.). Things like "What is heat, really?"
*
and "Why do we use the '=' sign for 'equals'?", and some other questions that
perhaps you never thought to ask. I may teach many of the same things that I
did in this course last year, so I recommend that those who took this course
last year not take it again.
**IMPORTANT:**Students who are planning on registering for this course, please fill out the enclosed question form, suggesting a question you would like to have answered. However, although student input will help direct the class, I make**no promises**to answer all questions. **INTRODUCTION TO QUANTUM PHYSICS**, 2nd period, 1 section per Session- This course requires a year of mathematics beyond Algebra
I. We will discuss some of the ways that Newtonian physics does not match what
we see in the universe and how the modern quantum model explains these
anomalies. How can we understand things like the Uncertainty Principle, which
do not fit with our intuition of daily life? What is a positron? Take this
class and we shall see.
**IMPORTANT:**Students who are planning on registering for this course, please fill out the enclosed question form, telling me about your math and science background and your interest in quantum physics. However, although student input will help direct the class, I make**no promises**to answer all questions. **GEOMETRY, PERSPECTIVES AND PERCEPTION**, 1st period, 2 sections per Session- This course is for those who have had at least a year of algebra, and little or no geometry. We will talk about geometry in two and three dimensions, and some ways that it shows up in art and science and the natural world. We will do some geometrical drawing, so bring rulers, compasses, protractors and the like if you have them. Also, we will work through some sample geometry problems from standardized tests such as the SAT in order to show you how to approach them.
**INTRODUCTION TO ALGEBRA: MATH AND SOME WAYS IT'S USED WITH COMPUTERS**, 3rd period, 2 sections per Session- This course is for those who have had little or no algebra. We will
discuss beginning algebra, and see how some of its ideas are used in the basic
workings of computers. Also, we will work through some sample algebra problems
from standardized tests such as the SAT in order to show you how to approach
them. This class is an
**introduction**-- math experts and computer programmers stay away!

**THIS HAS AN EXPLANATION**, 2nd period, 1 section per Session- The course description for this year was probably the same as the descriptions for it above, but I shall confirm that as soon as I have time.
**GEOMETRY, PERSPECTIVES AND PERCEPTION**, 1st period, 2 sections per Session- The course description for this year was probably the same as the description for it in 1997, but I shall confirm that as soon as I have time.

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**CALCULUS**- The course description for this class will be posted as soon as I have time.
**GEOMETRY I**- The course description for this class will be posted as soon as I have time.
**GEOMETRY II**- The course description for this class will be posted as soon as I have time.
**ALGEBRA I**- The course description for this class will be posted as soon as I have time.
**ALGEBRA II**- The course description for this class will be posted as soon as I have time.

If you wish to see some information on a young, promising woman
mathematician, visit Melanie Mitchell's
site.

* In the 01997 catalogue, this question appears as "What is really there?" I did not intend that and do not know how it got there!

(Last updated 5/15/02004)