Tim Chartier, professor of math and computer science, joined two other presenters in helping 50 New York City high school students understand real-world applications of mathematics. The trio presented "Moody's Mega Math Workshop," an outreach initiative by The Moody's Foundation and Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM).
"Sometimes kids can be good at math but they're not always sure why they're learning it," said Chartier. "We showed how math makes the magical logical."
He illustrated his point by describing the curve that forms when launching a bird on Angry Birds, the mathematical underpinnings of movie special effects, and the math behind improving a sports team's performance.
Another presenter at the session posed a modeling question, asking how many cats would result from the breeding of two cats over several years. A third presenter talked about how Google uses math in mapping software.
The workshop concluded with awards of $1,000 each in college scholarships to three random winners.