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The Echo
Taylor University, Upland, IN
Tuesday, April 16, 2024
The Echo

Math Club encourages fellowship, celebration of mathematics

Events foster sense of community

Whether hosting regular meetings or special events, the Math Club puts on a variety of activities to help its participants celebrate and bring together the Taylor’s Mathematics department. 

The Club is made up mostly of majors and students from the department, but all students interested in enjoying this time of fun, relationship and problem solving are welcome. 

“You want to be able to foster a social element in the community,” junior Mark Lee, president of the Math Club, said. “And it's nice to have a lot of people supporting other math majors, too, because it can be kind of a lonely endeavor. It’s a lot easier when you find other people who are also struggling and willing to joke about it. It’s a great way to connect with other people.” 

Every Thursday afternoon at 3:14, the math club hosts their aptly named “Pi Tea,” where friends can get together and enjoy time in a community of similar interests over drinks and snacks.

Following this, the group works in groups to solve problems and write proofs from questions often pulled from mathematics competitions and journals. They combine math with food, being known as PNP, short for Pizza and Problem Solving. 

“I love Pi Tea,” sophomore Ruby Harris said. “Thursday is my second favorite day of the week because it is so fun! It's just insane, two weeks ago we had an arm wrestling tournament, last week we had a rock paper scissors tournament and yesterday we played sardines. It’s just a bunch of craziness for the point of having fun!”

In addition to meeting weekly, some of the group members also participate in math competitions and exams such as the Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition and the Indiana Collegiate Mathematics Competition (ICMC). 

Some of the Math Club’s exams and competitions are done in groups while others are completed individually. 

The Math Club also holds annual events for their community that serve as opportunities to enjoy each other’s company. 

The first event of the year, usually held at a professor's house, welcomes the new mathematics freshmen to the department. Later in the semester, they throw a Christmas party with games that have included gingerbread house making competitions and white elephant gift exchanges. They end the year with a more formal Math Banquet. 

The Math Club's next event is the celebration of Pi week, an extension of Pi Day, which takes place on March 14 as an allusion to the first three digits of pi: 3.14. 

Throughout the week, the club will have different dress up days including “Monochrome Monday,” “Dress Like an Ancient Mathematician Tuesday,” “Colorful Wednesday,” and “Dress Like a Professor Thursday.”

Other celebrations will take place on Thursday. Though some preparations will be a surprise, the Math Club plans to have a pie baking competition where the winner receives the right to pie a professor. 

The Math Club is a place for the department to relax and problem solve, but it is mostly a fun place where friends can share in community and common interests. 

Senior Ally Donnachie has been an officer of the Math Club for the last three years and served as the president her junior year. 

“Some of the stuff we do might seem a little bit nerdy and out there, and to an extent it is; but I think the more you learn to let go of the fear of how you look, you just enjoy being with people,” Donnachie said. “Even if you’re doing a goofy thing you’re all doing it together. I think once you’re able to get over that and just have fun, it’s a great place to be.”