SBCC’s Math club goal to change students approach to math

The Santa Barbara City College Math Club meeting Thursday, Oct. 18, in Interdisciplinary Center Room 106. The club met to hear a powerpoint lesson on geometry and drawing on grids using proportions from club vice president Christina Humphrey.

AIDAN ANDERSON, Channels Staff

City College’s Math Club reaches beyond a simple study group to develop a gathering of passionate learners.

The club originally began as a vehicle to prepare members for the Student Mathematics League competition. Although it has been around for nearly eight years, faculty advisor Jeff Gray says it has only recently begun to branch out and attract more attention.

“We just had more people who wanted to do more things,” Gray said. “The last few years we haven’t even done the contest.”

The club began focusing on helping students prepare for math events as well as providing assistance with their individual work. Club president German Ramos Lopez said he wanted to “re-vamp” the club’s focus when he joined as an officer.

“I have always been appreciative of math,” Lopez said, “and it’s good to see ways math is actually applied in the world.”

Lopez said it is difficult to pinpoint one specific reason that originally attracted the 20 active members to the club. Ranging from chemistry majors to engineering and computer science, participants are all looking for a different way to link mathematics to their particular area of interest.

Many students struggle to find a way to enjoy their math classes and Lopez strives to create an interest in math by applying it to different subjects and working with various programs.

“Some people may have been steered wrong by a teacher,” Lopez said. “I want to create a new focus for math.”

The club arranges talks with different speakers on assorted subjects. They are currently working on bringing in the former president of the club to speak with students about transferring from City College to UCSB.

“We haven’t had a lot of talks that were super accessible to everybody,” Lopez said. “I think that this one people can relate more to.”

The club also offers field trips to different universities with a focus on their STEM departments, such as the UC Berkeley and UCLA. The level of math that members are studying varies greatly from one student to the next.

The club held a workshop on geometry and drawing at their meeting Thursday, highlighting the artistic implications of being in touch with one’s mathematical side. The workshop was lead by vice president Christina Humphrey, who discussed the basics of graphing in three dimensions and using perspective to create realistic sketches.

“I look forward to being able to share these awesome useful hints,” Humphrey said.

Moving forward, officers discussed wanting to open up club positions to new members, as well as trying to organize a new field trip and bring in more speakers. They recently put together a group hike with the adventure club, and are in the process of proposing another event.

Club members are also managing several fundraising opportunities, namely their new t-shirts and sweatshirts as well as selling Axxess books for local businesses.

The club meets 5:30 p.m. every other Thursday in the Interdisciplinary Center Room 106 and more information can be found on the club facebook page.