New People’s University Will Make Sense of Math

“Mathematics Fun” is not an oxymoron.

The new People’s University series, “Mathematics 1: Making Sense of Math,” will begin Tuesday at the Ohio County Public Library in Wheeling.

The course will meet at 7 p.m. for four consecutive Tuesdays, ending Feb. 28. Each class will be approximately 60-90 minutes in length.

Instructors Jeanne Finstein and Libby and Robert Strong will teach participants how to understand mathematical terminologies and functions covering a variety of fascinating and fun mathematical concepts.

The full schedule for the series is as follows:

∫ Tuesday — Mathematics Fun and Games, with Finstein. The class will highlight some interesting patterns of rational numbers and some tricks that aren’t part of a typical math class. Participants also will play a few math games that can exercise the brain and/or provide some interesting and educational ways to entertain children or grandchildren.

∫ Feb. 13 — Mathematical Concepts 1, with the Strongs. They will explain math terminology in a finite universe, trigonometry and the Pythagorean theorem, and “The Mobius Band: Modeling the Universe.”

∫ Feb. 20 — Mathematical Concepts 2, with the Strongs. They will discuss “Dimensionality and the Tesseract,” “Scaling the Universe and Scientific Notation” and “Black Hole Mathematics and Universal Implications.”

∫ Feb. 27 — Mathematical Concepts 3, with the Strongs. They will discuss “The Drake Equation and the Search for Life,” “Zeno’s Paradox” and numbers that are giants in the field of math.

The People’s University is a free program for adults who want to continue their education in the liberal arts. Patrons may attend as many classes as they wish. There are no tests or other requirements; all programs are free and open to the public. To register for the class, send an email message by visiting the library’s website at and clicking to the “Contact/Email us” page, call 304-232-0244 or visit the reference desk.

Finstein is probably more well-known for her talks on Wheeling history. However, her professional career was spent as a mathematics educator. She taught at Triadelphia High School, Wheeling Country Day School and Wheeling Park High School; worked as a curriculum developer at the NASA Classroom of the Future and was a co-founder of Polyhedron Learning Media, an educational software development company.

She is a member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and is an officer in the West Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics, an organization that awarded her its Distinguished Service Award in 2016.

The Strongs own and operate SMART Centre Market, Wheeling’s interactive science store, in the historic Centre Market District and run the SMART (Science, Mathematics, Art, Research and Technology) Center program, providing hands-on science and mathematics outreach for camps, school programs, teacher workshops and community events. Both are experienced classroom teachers.