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The East Texas Math Teachers’ Circle provides teachers and math enthusiasts with opportunities to explore rich, open-ended mathematical questions as they develop and discuss problem-solving skills. This program is partially funded by the American Institute of Mathematics. Events are free and professional development (CPE and G/T) credits are available. For more information, contact Dr. Jane Long at

Our Math Teachers' Circle will hold hybrid meetings. You may opt to attend in person at the SFASU campus or online through Zoom. Dinner will be provided, at no cost, to face-to-face participants.

Please complete this form to register for meetings. You may register for one or more meetings, and you may return to fill out the form for another date at a later time. So that we may plan appropriately, we will send follow-up email communication a few days before each event. At that time, we will ask whether you plan to attend in-person or virtually. Meeting details such as parking and information on joining the virtual meeting will be shared at that time.

Schedule for spring 2024

All meetings are on Tuesdays from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Meetings will be held in the Cole STEM Building, Room 201, or area campuses as listed.

Tuesday, May 14

Facilitator: Dr. Colin Lawson

Title: Counting Grid Patterns

Description: In this session, we will dive into a fun combinatorial grid puzzle. Prepare to engage your analytical skills and collaborate with fellow math enthusiasts as we tackle the puzzle, uncover hidden patterns within the grid and navigate its intricate pathways.


Tuesday, March 19

Facilitator: Dr. Brittney Falahola

Title: Measuring Up

Description: Is it possible to measure all possible integer lengths on a ruler without marking every integer on that ruler? Beautiful mathematics can be revealed while delving deeper into this seemingly easy question. (Session inspired by Chris Bolognese and Raj Shah.)


Tuesday, Feb. 20

Facilitator: Dr. Christal Schoen

Title: "That Thing Is Not Always Going to Be in Your Pocket: Discussing Calculator Use in Mathematics Class"

Description: We will explore the history of calculator use in K-12 education in the United States and examine research regarding educational outcomes. We will also engage in an activity-based lesson using the TI-NSpire CAS handheld calculators and Navigator System.

Tuesday, Jan. 16

*Meeting Canceled


Meeting Archive

Previous meetings: fall 2023

Tuesday, Sept. 12

Facilitator: Robert Payne

Title: “He said…She said…” Problems

Description: When is no information, information? At this session, Robert Payne will be presenting a collection of “He said…She said…” problems. In the process of thinking about the solutions to this fun category of problems, we hope to discover two problem-solving strategies that have never (?) come up during past SFA Teachers’ Circles.

Location: Cole STEM Building, room 201 (note room change)


Tuesday, Oct. 10

Facilitator: Dr. Brian Church, SFA

Title: One-Step, Two-Step, Red Step, Blue Step

Description: We will investigate representations for expressions and equations and see that keywords aren’t always the “key.” This session will focus on Nacogdoches ISD Essential Standards related to solving one- and two-step equations.

Location: Raguet Elementary School, 2708 Raguet St., Nacogdoches, Texas


Tuesday, Nov. 14

Facilitator: Dr. Brittney Falahola

Title: Folding, Sharing and Comparing

Description: Join us as we dive into the world of fractions! We’ll set out to discover a way to fold a flat object perfectly into thirds and a technique to share our loads of Halloween candy evenly amongst friends with no counting required. But how will we compare? Come and find out! This session will address Nacogdoches ISD’s Essential Standards relating to fractions.

Location: Raguet Elementary School, 2708 Raguet St., Nacogdoches, Texas

Previous meetings: spring 2023

Tuesday, Jan. 24

Facilitator: Dr. Tom Judson

Title: The Mathematics of Bicycle Tracks

Description: We’re excited to see you for a session on the mathematics of bicycle tracks facilitated by expert mathematician and cyclist, SFA’s own Dr. Tom Judson. Please join us and bring a friend!

Video Link

Tuesday, Feb. 21

SPECIAL LOCATION: Raguet Elementary School, 2708 Raguet St., Nacogdoches, TX

Facilitator: Dr. Brian Beavers

Title: Algebra without the x

Description: In this session, we will put aside our default symbol-pushing algebraic methods and work to understand several types of word problems using stories and visuals with a goal to help students develop algebraic reasoning skills before they ever have to use an “x.”

Tuesday, March 21

Facilitator: Dr. Jane Long

Title: What Stories Do Graphs Tell?

Description: Graphs are some of the most useful tools in mathematics because they can be used to communicate many different types of information. In this session, we’ll explore the process of making graphs based on information we’ve been given, and also the process of (re)constructing a situation or story based on a graph.

Tuesday, April 25

SPECIAL LOCATION: McMichael Middle School Library, 4330 SE Stallings Dr, Nacogdoches, TX 75961

Facilitator: Dr. Jonathan Mitchell

Title: Amazing Numbers

Description: Professor Natalie Attired likes to display her interest in math with a special vanity license plate. Her plate is made up of the six digits 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, & 6 (none repeated) with interesting divisibility properties. Can you determine the plate numbers? Are there other special arrangements fitting the properties? Come to Math Teacher Circles this Tuesday and let’s explore these amazing numbers… and beyond.

Tuesday, May 16

Meeting Canceled

Previous meetings: fall 2022

Tuesday, Sept. 20

Facilitator: Dr. Jane Long

Title: Mathematical Square Dancing

Description: In this hands-on activity, we’ll use problem-solving strategies to investigate some simple movements and models with ropes that have surprising mathematical connections. Based on a model from John Conway, this exploration will intrigue mathematicians of all levels and experiences.

Tuesday, Oct. 18

Facilitator: Dr. Brittney Falahola

Title: Intersection Math

Description: What is four times three? 12 you might say, but no longer! In a new type of math — intersection math— we will see that four times three is 18, two times two is 1, and that two times five is 10 (Hang on! That’s not new!). Let’s spend some fun time together remembering what it is like to figure things out for the first time, rekindle that joyous creative mathematical spark in each of us, and realize that we are each capable of ingenious and clever thinking. (Inspired by the work of James Tanton)

Tuesday, Nov. 15

Facilitator: Dr. Clint Richardson

Title: "A Math Without Words Puzzle"

Description: In this session, we’ll investigate a puzzle with no description or instructions. The mathematics we encounter will be accessible for all.

Previous meetings: spring 2022

Tuesday, Jan. 25, 5:30 to 8 p.m.

Facilitator: Dr. Jonathan Mitchell

Title: The Mathematics of Power

Description: Each eligible person in a democracy is entitled to one vote during local and national elections. But what about votes that take place within businesses, churches or institutions? Is one-vote-per-person always fair? Perhaps some voting members should have more power than others should. The mathematics of power is yet another demonstration of the old adage “mathematics is powerful”. Come and explore with us the world of weighted voting and its resulting power index. Watch out. There will be percentages, fractions and of course alliances and coalitions.

Tuesday, Feb. 22, 5:30 to 8 p.m.

Facilitator: Dr. Jane Long

Title: Coins in Twoland

Description: Celebrate TWOSday (2/22/22) with us by traveling to mythical Twoland, where money consists of coins with of value 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024 and so on. We'll investigate ways to pay for things in Twoland, its capital city of Twoville and consider moving to the city of Oneville.

Tuesday, April 19, 5:30 to 8 p.m.

Facilitator: Dr. Clint Richardson

Title: Arithmagic Squares

Description: In this session, we will be exploring Magic Squares and a very nice generalization of that idea, called Arithmagic Squares. This session is appropriate for teachers of all levels.

Tuesday, May 17, 5:30 to 8 p.m.

Facilitator: Dr. Nicholas Long

Title: Math Problems Everywhere!

Description: Math problems show up everywhere. All you have to do is look around you and start asking questions. Like when I was looking at a plot of land near my house in the shape of a rhombus, I started to wonder how much more land I could get if I just "claimed" an extra foot in each direction. Or when I was talking to one of my kids about how many different numbers we can get by dividing 1,000,000 into pieces. Or when my son was teaching me chess and I wondered what would happen if I put as many bishops as possible on the board. Or when I wondered how to space birds on a wire so they won't fight each other. We all have problems, but hopefully we can solve a few of these math ones to help make life feel a little easier.

Previous meetings: fall 2021

Tuesday, Sept. 21, 5:30 to 8 p.m.

Facilitator: Dr. Brittney Falahola

Title: "The Jug Band"

Description: "Using just a 5 pint jug and a 12 pint jug, measure 1 pint of water!" Is this possible with just these two jugs? What about a 7 pint jug and a 17 pint jug? Or a "p" pint jug and a "q" pint jug? Join us to investigate these questions together.

Tuesday, Oct. 19, 5:30 to 8 p.m.

Facilitator: Dr. Vinh Dang

Title: Circle Inversion

Description: We will look at an operation in geometry called circle inversion. We will illustrate how to use this technique to change our perspective and obtain strikingly simple solutions to otherwise difficult problems in plane geometry.

Tuesday, Nov. 16, 5:30 to 8 p.m.

Facilitator: Dr. Bob Henderson

Title: Adventures in Probability

Description: We will start with some relatively simple probability problems and then see how we might make them at least a little more challenging.  We will explore how you know you are in a real casino and you will have the opportunity to win $20 of Dr. Henderson’s money!

Previous meetings: spring 2021

Feb. 9: "The Tower of Hanoi"
Led by: Dr. Brian Beavers

The Tower of Hanoi may seem like a simple mathematical puzzle, but it has many surprising connections. Studying its solution lets us revisit many common mathematical problem-solving techniques and old friends like Pascal’s triangle and Sierpinski’s gasket. We’ll look below the surface and find something for students of all levels!

March 16: CANCELED
Led by: Dr. Clint Richardson


April 13: "Looking at Functions and Graphs"
Led by: Dr. Tom Judson

What is the graph of a perfect golf shot? How do we plot graphs from pictures, words or tables? We will investigate some of these issues using materials from Shell Centre for Mathematical Education.

sample problem













May 18: "Magic Squares"
Led by: Dr. Brittney Falahola

Around for over 2000 years, “magic squares” have been thought to have mystical properties – even helping astrologers in the 9th century determine horoscopes. But what is so special about a square filled with numbers? Come join our discussion to find out! (No background knowledge needed.)


STEM Education and Research Center
Staff directory

Physical Address:
Cole STEM Building, Suite 406

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 6070 SFA Station
Nacogdoches, TX 75962-6070