Asheville Initiative for Mathematics (AIM) is a public outreach project run by Dr. Samuel Kaplan. AIM’s mission is to promote excellence in math education and universal math literacy.
Every Monday, students volunteer as math champions for Marvelous Math Club at Pisgah View Apartments. If you are student and would like to volunteer, apply here. AIM also coordinates projects and events every semester to get the community more involved, including a Pi Day Run each Spring.
Marvelous Math Club (MMC)
Check out this video of a moment from our Marvelous Math Club:
There have always been Black professional mathematicians in the United States, even since colonial days. Here are some articles and sites where you can learn more.
The women of Hidden Figures:
Pi Day Run
The Pi Day Run is a chance to show your support for math literacy, which influences our ability to solve problems, understand statistical concepts like risk, and the ability to communicate effectively with numbers. Math literacy is an essential skill in our current workforce environment and will continue to grow in importance for personal economic success. The Pi Day Run is held around March 14 each year.
Learn more about the 2023 Pi Run scheduled for March 19, 2023.
Why Math Literacy?
Math literacy is more important than ever for the future of our nation, but our nation lags behind all other industrial countries in math education.
There is much discussion about the achievement gap between racial groups. Though not as stark as the economic gap, racial gaps have not narrowed in the last few decades. However, a well-supported math education helps to eliminate both of these indicators.
Research suggests a strategy of supporting student’s math skills and preparing all students for upper-level math courses in high school. The ability to achieve such a goal is not far-fetched. We need to bring resources to bear on math literacy. However, teachers and school systems cannot address this issue alone. We must enlarge the conversation of improving math literacy to include teachers, students, parents, academic administrators, business leaders and community leaders to even have a chance at success.
The role of UNC Asheville as a public institution is to bring students, teachers and research to the table. By acting as a facilitator, UNC Asheville is well-positioned to impact math literacy locally and to act as a model for other communities to address this critical national issue.
Program Goals & History
Goal of Public Outreach
The goal of public outreach is to reframe how we think of math. Math literacy includes the skills of arithmetic, mastery of basic statistical concepts, problem-solving skills, critical-thinking skills and the ability to communicate effectively in quantitative terms. These are essential skills in our current work force environment and will continue to grow in importance for personal economic success. These skills also allow us to adapt to a constantly shifting work arena.
- Mathematics is the study of relations between objects.
- Mathematics is fun and should be celebrated.
- Everyone can learn and enjoy mathematics.
- Mathematics connects to everyone’s everyday experience.
- There is no such dichotomy as “numbers people” and “words people.”
- Math literacy improves learning outcomes in math and science.
- Math literacy helps develop executive function, which in turn positively impacts every facet of a person’s life.
- Mathematics can positively transform both the individual and the community by opening doors to higher education, critical thinking, executive function, financial planning and self-esteem.
In Fall 2006, AIM was formed to extend community outreach. We wanted to avoid a top-down approach, telling the community what they need. Instead AIM listened to community partners and identified needs and resources We formed an informal group of allies. Our conversations led to multiple activities including public outreach, professional development and tutor training. We are currently building a sustainable balance of outreach, student research and tutoring resources.
Connection to UNC Asheville’s Mission Statement
The mission of UNC Asheville states:
…the university aims to develop students of broad perspective who think critically and creatively, communicate effectively, and participate actively in their communities.
The promotion of numeracy at all levels in the community improves critical thinking as well as communication of ideas with mathematical content.
As a public university, UNC Asheville serves the region and state in ways that complement its educational mission. It encourages students, faculty, and staff to interact with and serve the community, and it shares cultural and educational resources with citizens at all stages of life and learning.
The Asheville Institute of Mathematics serves as conduit for faculty, students and ideas to reach out to the community and to identify and respond to needs in the community related to mathematics.
Faculty & Staff
- Dr. Evan Couzo
- Tommy Moore
- Anne Marie Roberts
- Jeremy Gage
- Anastasia Loomis
- Lucas Myers
- Marcy Pedzwater
- Ivy Sugars
Junior Bulldog Coordinator
- Sondra Hall
- Marcy Pedzwater
- Ivy Sugars
The Asheville Initiative for Mathematics is a public outreach project run by Dr. Samuel Kaplan. AIM’s mission is to promote excellence in math education and universal math literacy. The Pi Day Run is a chance to show your support for math literacy, which influences our ability to solve problems, understand statistical concepts like risk, and the ability to communicate effectively with numbers. Math literacy is an essential skill in our current workforce environment and will continue to grow in importance for personal economic success.
This Fall, we’re continuing Project Snowflake from last year. Our mission is to promote excellence in math education and universal math literacy. One step in that direction is to help people remember how much fun math can be — and how creative and beautiful. This is the motivation behind Project Snowflake. We hope you enjoy making paper snowflakes — and it’s even more fun with friends and family! Look for these snowflakes in the windows at local businesses, pictures of them on Our Facebook Page, and share pictures of your own! #avlsnowflake
Information for Parents
Add Math to Each Day
- Figure This – Math for Families
- Learn Zillion – focus on Common Core teaching and help, requires membership (free)
- Math Dictionary for Kids (and Parents)
- K-5 Math Investigations, curriculum with ideas and implementation
- K-10 games and ideas at Greg Tang Math
Information for Students
Jobs in Math
Help with Studying
Information for Teachers
- Illuminations from NCTM
- Illustrated Math – example exercises for each criterion of the Common Core
- Common Core Site, Standard Practices