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The New York Times: Prof Brings Mathematics to Life by Mime

Tim Chartier
Prof. Tim Chartier performs.

Reformers contend there's too much dull, rote memorization in math classes. Associate Professor Tim Chartier and his spouse, Tanya, take another, more lively approach. The couple have long and distinguished careers in the arts, including lessons in mime from the late, great Marcel Marceau. As a math teacher at Davidson for the past dozen years, it's perhaps inevitable that Chartier began to blend his life-loves, and create mime skits that also serve as mathematics lessons.

The Chartiers have been presenting their act at professional mathematics meetings, colleges and universities and festivals far and wide as educators hear about and request their services. For the past decade they've presented their "Mime-matics" show about twice a month at home and abroad. Whether creating an illusion of an invisible wall, wearing masks covered with geometric shapes, pulling on an invisible rope or counting plungers, the Chartiers delve into mathematical concepts such as estimation, tiling and infinity. New York Times reporter Robert Strauss profiles this unique couple and their creative use of math in art in the "small business" section of the paper.

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