CAMP 2022 Day 1

It’s the first day of the 9th year of Bard Math CAMP – the first day in two years that our CAMPers and instructors have been able to do math in three dimensions!  In other words, this is the start of CAMP’s first in-person session after two years of meeting online.  

First thing in the morning, the students were treated to an indoor math fair of sorts – the first two rows of the László Z. Bitó auditorium were decked with math puzzles, fractal magnets, and the board game Set.

“We basically have to figure out the size of each skyscraper – like, from here you’re going to have to see two skyscrapers, but you can’t have the same number in each row.”

Towers of Hanoi
 “You’re supposed to get all the blocks to [the other] side, but the small one has to be at the top, and the big one has to be at the bottom.  You also have to do the smallest number of moves to do that.”

“This is a deep-sea diver, and this is a mermaid. … The human race is corrupting all beings, even in the ocean, and soon we will not be able to escape the humans.”

In Frances’ math class, the CAMPers in the SINE group were shipwrecked on a mysterious island…

You land on an island where the people either always tell the truth or always lie.  You need to get your bearings on this island, and you see three islanders walking up to you.

You ask the first person: “Are you a truth-teller?”  But you don’t hear what he says.  

The second person says that Person 1 said “yes”.  

The third person says that Person 2 is a liar.    

From this, they went on to learn about logical operators (NOT, AND, OR) in preparation for Computer Science (CS) class.  

In Art class, students in the CSC group were given a piece of construction paper and, making a series of rectangular, triangular, or circular cuts along its folded edge, were tasked with making their 3-D design as intricate as possible.

In CS class, the SEC group continued their work in logic with truth tables.

Setting the two inputs (A and B) to either 0 or 1, CAMPers used their new knowledge of logical operators to determine whether a given statement (the output) was true or false.

The CAMPers continued to explore inputs and outputs by connecting batteries (inputs of energy) and LEDs (outputs of light) via cables or splitters to create “statements” in real life.

After having lunch at Down the Road Café, CAMPers had the option to either linger in the Campus Center and try their hand at billiards/foosball, to follow Japheth on a hike to the Sawkill Stream, or to head back to the Reem-Kayden Center and learn magic tricks with Frances.

After that, the SEC students headed to Art class for mathematical crafting, while the CSC students went to the RKC computer lab to learn more about logic and truth tables – engaging in a somewhat philosophical discussion about why computers use 1’s and 0’s, and why the truth or falsity of statements in CS class is not at all up to interpretation.

At the end of the day, the groups converged once again in the Bitó Auditorium for more math activities – origami, card tricks, and the Game of Hex.

The first day of CAMP was exciting and eventful for everyone involved – we can’t wait for more math adventures on Day 2!