Category Archives: Outreach

MaTCHbike - 3

Bike gears at the Math Teachers’ Circle

On April 2, Prof. Michael Nakamaye from the University of New Mexico visited the Math Teachers’ Circle of Hawaii. He led a 2-hour math activity on bicycles, gears, and ratios. Forty-seven teachers from Oahu came to campus for the session, and four teachers from neighbor islands joined in on the fun via Google Hangouts.

The Math Teachers’ Circle of Hawaii is a professional learning community of K-12 teachers who come together for mathematics activities and pedagogical discussions. In the 2015-2016 academic year, we’ve been meeting on the first Saturday of each month, from 8:30am – 12:30pm in Webster Hall room 101 (UH Manoa campus). Our last meeting this year will be on Saturday, May 7. Drop-ins and visitors are always welcome!

For information about the Math Teachers’ Circle of Hawaii, contact Prof. Michelle Manes (


Math Teachers’ Circle of Hawai’i


The Math Teachers’ Circle (MaTCH) is beginning its fifth year, and we were just awarded our fifth consecutive ESEA grant to run the program. Mathematics teachers from across Oahu come to UH once each month to do math with Prof. Michelle Manes and graduate student Eric Reckwerdt. Former graduate student (and KCC faculty member) John Rader will a parallel session for groups of teachers on neighbor islands who connect with us via Google Hangouts.

A morning of math activities is followed by pedagogical conversations led by our College of Education colleagues Linda Venenciano and Sean Yagi.

MaTCH has been growing steadily each year and is attaining national recognition. This past year, Prof. Manes was invited to lead circles at the University of Colorado at Denver and at the University of New Mexico. An article based on some recent MaTCH sessions appears in the recent Math Teachers’ Circle Newsletter ( An education research paper based on our work in MaTCH was recently accepted by the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators for their national conference in January.

Math department faculty and graduate students are welcome to join us for any session. If anyone is interested in leading a fun activity for a motivated group of teachers, just let us know! Feel free to pass along the information to any K-12 teachers.

This year’s meetings will take place on eight Saturdays: Sept 12, Oct 3, Nov 7, Dec 5, Feb 6, Mar 5, April 2, and May 7. All meetings run from 8:30am – 12:30pm, with math activities taking the first 2 – 2.5 hours of the meeting. We meet in Webster 101, on the UHM campus.


The Math Teachers’ Circle is entering its fourth year (and we were just awarded our fourth consecutive ESEA grant to run the program).

Our website is here:

We have about 50 participants this year, including 4-5 on Molokai who are connecting with our sessions electronically.

We were discussed in the national Math Teachers’ Circle newsletter. See the Summer 2014 issue here:

Prof. Michelle Manes has been invited to talk about our Math Teachers’ Circle at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in 2015.


The Pontryagin Maximum Principle and asteroid missions

Professor Monique Chyba and graduate student Geoff Patterson from the UH Department of Mathematics have a joint project with Robert Jedicke from the UH Institute for Astronomy to design spacecraft rendezvous missions with Temporarily Captured Orbiters (TCOs), the so-called minimoons, which
form a subset of the population of Near Earth Objects (NEOs).

The spacecraft is parked on a Halo orbit around the Earth-Moon’s L1 or L2 libration points and the criterion to minimize during the transfer is the consumption of fuel.

Using a sun perturbed 4 body model, and indirect methods based on the Pontryagin Maximum Principle, combined with continuation techniques and a direct method to address the sensitivity of the initialization, they compute efficient rendezvous missions to a large pool of synthetic minimoons.

This project is one of the topics at the outreach event Reach for the Stars on December 10, 2014.