Hitting the Target

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The Math-by-Mail project of the Weizmann Institute’s Young@Science section, which is geared toward elementary school students, is entering a new phase aimed at a new audience: adults.
The recently created Weizmann Worldwide Math Club – based on the Math-by-Mail project – offers varied, challenging and creative mathematical activities to high school students and adults around the world. During the course of the year, participants receive six booklets with various mathematical riddles, tasks and tips. The math is high-level, profound and challenging, but it doesn’t require prior knowledge or special training – all it takes is interest, creativity and a willingness to think. “The goal is to leave aside conventional thinking and approach mathematical topics from a different angle,” says Dr. Yossi Elran, who runs the program with his wife, Michal, and a large team including math advisers, translators, booklet reviewers and administrative staff.

The topic of the first booklet is a seemingly easy children’s game, “Mastermind,” which covers some  intriguing underlying math principles such as probability theory and combinatorics. Future booklets are expected to deal with such topics as game theory and the mathematics of logic.