# Program Spotlight:

Math Question Center

# Math Question Center 2023

The Bob Case Academy Math Question Center, sponsored by Northeastern’s Department of Mathematics, is an online space designed to support students throughout the academic year. Students are matched with a mentor and can drop in to ask for help with homework, get advice on preparing for college, and work with peers to tackle interesting math problems.

**Days**: Mondays and Thursdays

**Time**: 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Participants are required to sign in and connect with your mentor at least one day each week, even it’s just to stay hello.

To get started, please fill out and submit the registration and consent forms below.

# How it works

Each session begins with a math-related question, or “activator”, designed to build critical thinking skills and foster community.

Following this activator, students and their mentors work in small groups or one-on-one to complete homework or address college readiness concerns. The group of mentors at the Math Question Center is vast, including Bridge to Calculus alumni, college undergraduate and graduate students, faculty from Northeastern’s mathematics department, and community volunteers. The Math Question Center is a place where students and mentors alike are welcomed, help one another learn and grow, and feel a sense of community.

## Sample Activator

When any coin is tossed it will come up either Heads or Tails, and it is impossible to predict the outcome with certainty. If the coin is fair then the probability of coming up Heads or Tails is the same, namely 50%. If the coin is not fair then the coin is more likely to come up either Heads or Tails (the coin is said to be biased in this case).

Two people are going to play a game of chess, and they need to randomly choose which one will start. The choice must be completely fair and unbiased. They have a coin that can be tossed but they don’t know whether it is fair or biased. They want to ‘generate’ a choice which is guaranteed to be completely fair, so that each player has a 50% chance of starting. How can they do this using the one coin that is available?

*It’s clear that the players cannot get a 50-50 result by tossing the coin once, since they don’t know whether or not the coin is fair. So the method must involve tossing the coin more than once.*