On Friday, we’ll be at CMC South in Palm Springs hosting an Ignite!
We started doing Ignite! events for the math community after we attended one hosted by O’Reilly Media in Sebastopol, CA. I went because I was really interested in hearing Tim O’Reilly speak. I’ve long admired Tim’s work and have had the good fortune to work with some really talented people at Key who also worked with Tim at some point. The really great thing about the evening—and what inspired us to start our own events—was being introduced to speakers from the local community who had something new and interesting to share. It was there, for example, where we met Zoe Keating for the first time. Zoe is an amazing musician, who is famous for launching her career without a label, and through the use of social media.
When we started our own events, we were eager to launch with some well-known names in math education to stimulate initial interest, but we also wanted to make sure we created room for anyone to come forward who had something to share. We’ve had some fantastic speakers over the last couple of years, and this year’s line-up is no different.
The talks that stay with me are the unexpected ones. At NCSM this year, Mike Shaughnessy in “Messages and Refrains” sang his entire talk. A few days later, Arjan Khalsa brought his mandolin to the stage for “Exploring Fractions in Music.” Lest you think I’m only interested in musical interludes, I think the biggest surprise for me this year was Max Ray from the Math Forum with “Why 2 > 4: A Proof by Induction.” Believe me, it’s not what you’re expecting. Max didn’t even know he was speaking until the day before the event. The Math Forum was well represented that night with Annie Fetter and Steve Weimar also presenting.
I prefer the evening events we’ve done because we can have a drink—the first one is usually on us—and hang out afterwards. Palm Springs will be no different. We’ll start at 7:00PM in the Catalina room. Get there a little early and you’ll see Harold, Kyndall, Ivan, Jared, Susie, Judith, and Dan Meyer and Dan Teague limbering up!
I’ll be your emcee for the evening.