October 12, 2009
Math skills have the power to change young lives, so argues noted mathematician and University of Arizona professor William Velez. He will tell his own story in a keynote address at UNC Asheville's Third Annual Math Literacy Summit. The summit, aimed at K-12 teachers, parents and students, will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, at UNC Asheville’s Highsmith University Union. The day's activities will include the talk by Velez as well as a number of workshops. Refreshments and free childcare will be provided. The event is free and open to the public.
The summit will begin with the keynote address by Velez, entitled "Mathematics Changed My Life," at 10 a.m. In the talk, he will describe his struggle with college mathematics as a student, and his decision to persevere and overcome those challenges. Velez works to promote mathematics and increase the number of mathematics majors among Hispanics and Native Americans. He is one of the founding members of the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science, and has served as its president.
"If our society is to survive and prosper, we have to produce a mathematically literate society," Velez said. "I have decided to dedicate the final years of my academic life to convince our students that mathematics is relevant, that it is fascinating, and that students arriving on campus should increase the mathematical content of their course work. It is important that parents, K-12 teachers and university mathematicians understand how critical mathematics is for our students and for our communities."
Eight workshops will follow Velez's talk. The workshops will address credit fundamentals, credit reports and scores, health connections to math and statistics, mart and art, and technology. A special session for parents will also be offered on helping students with math homework. Two workshops on credit will be offered in both English and Spanish.
The event is sponsored by the UNC Asheville Mathematics Department's Asheville Initiative for Math (AIM) with support from RBC Bank and the AT&T Foundation. AIM's mission is to promote excellence in math education and universal math literacy in the Asheville region.
For more information, contact Sam Kaplan, UNC Asheville associate professor of mathematics, at 828/232-5192.