Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile: UC Mathematical Reasoning Workshop began classes with a record number of applications

The impressive number of registrants, the motivation and excellent academic profiles of the applicants, led to an increase of more than 200 places in this important initiative.

A total of 2,251 students from all over Chile applied between March 1 and 28 for the UC Mathematical Reasoning Workshop (TRM), one of the largest and most structured scientific dissemination initiatives in the country.

The TRM, organized by the Faculty of Mathematics, gathers one day a week, during the school period, for two years, second and third grade schoolchildren who solve problems, face challenges and know a wider mathematics than that of the school context .

It is a shocking figure that not only reveals the enormous growth of this initiative, but also reflects a growing interest of the new generations to deepen this discipline and seek opportunities to share and experience a more challenging and creative mathematics.

Women accounted for the majority of applications, with 57% of the total, accounting for a significant reduction in gender barriers to interest in mathematics.

The impressive number of registrants, the motivation and excellent academic profiles of the applicants, led to an increase of more than 200 places in this important initiative :

“618 students were selected for the TRM Level I, most of which correspond to second-year students, who come from 438 schools in all regions of the country. We currently have four times more students than at the beginning of the TRM in 2011, ” says Jade Rivera, Coordinator of the Mathematical Reasoning Workshop.

Women accounted for the majority of applications, with 57% of the total, accounting for a significant reduction in gender barriers to interest in mathematics.

The online experience has allowed the TRM to grow and also allow students from regions to have access, where this type of initiative does not exist. This allows for more diversity in both schools and students.

“At a pedagogical level, we have implemented Moodle, a knowledge management tool, which will allow us to have an overview of the progress achieved by students, determine their participation in forums, as well as standardization in the delivery of challenges. With this, it can be observed if there is any student who has a different approach when responding to a challenge or concerns in the forums, becoming valid indicators to identify mathematical talent. Something as basic as standardizing attendance will allow us to open places to students who are on the waiting list and in this way integrate them at any time of the year, ”explains Rivera.

“618 students were selected for the TRM Level I, most of which correspond to second-year students, from 438 schools in all regions of the country. We currently have four times more students than at the beginning of the TRM in 2011 ”- Jade Rivera, Coordinator of the Mathematical Reasoning Workshop

Academically, explains the TRM professor, Patricio Santibáñez, “one of the advantages of the online modality is related to how the classes are done and how pedagogical decisions are made. Virtuality has allowed us to focus on a problem, to be a little more efficient in the discussions, we have set the times for each one (and if they are not able to advance, we leave it for later), the students know in advance about what the class and can keep all the questions (even the ones we don’t work on) It has also allowed us to flow better with computer programs, such as Geogebra, “he explains.

“Being at home has allowed me to adapt to strange questions, which can have explanations with specific materials, for example, I have been able to cut oranges to explain that there are triangles whose sum of interior angles is more than 180 °, or cut and fold paper to certain beautiful processes. We were even able to do the TRA version (which are these classes where they are conducive to painting or drawing). The virtuality for certain types of students has favored them to ask or say that they do not understand something, but for others this has been bad, because they do not express it, but their faces do. And, in face-to-face format, the faces are always a good read of what is happening (it is very fome, it is not understood, very fast, very slow) “, adds the professor Santibáñez.

The 618 students who entered TRM level I this year were divided into two sections. The classes will be published weekly on the YouTube channel: Youtube.com/MatematicasUC .

“Virtuality has allowed us to focus on a problem, to be a little more efficient in discussions. We have set the times for each one, and if they are not able to move forward, we will leave it for later” – Patricio Santibáñez, TRM professor

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