About BAMA

BAMA stands for Bay Area Mathematical adventures, a series of presentations on diverse topics by remarkable mathematicians.
All talks are free and open to the public.

BAMA Goals
The primary goal of BAMA (Bay Area Mathematical Adventures) is to challenge and motivate students to think mathematically. Speakers will present real mathematics, and will share with the audience modern views of mathematics. Some talks will provide students with related problems, or will enable teachers to expand later on the topics with their students.
Who can come?
BAMA is aimed at bright high-school age students. However, all are welcome: older students, teachers, parents, and the general public.
When and where?
The talks will be held in the evening, alternating between the campuses of Santa Clara University (SCU) and San Jose State University (SJSU). Talks will be given approximately once a month between September and April. Each talk will be self-contained (speakers will not assume their audiences have attended previous talks)
A Short History of BAMA
In the spring of 1998 Tatiana Shubin of SJSU and Peter Ross of SCU attended a talk by Zvezdelina Stankova at the American Institute of Mathematics in Palo Alto. The theme of the talk was that something was needed for challenging bright secondary school students who, other than by mathematics contests, weren't being served well in mathematics. She gave as an example the very successful mathematical problem-solving circles that had existed in Eastern Europe and Russia for a long time. This resonated with Tatiana, who recalled a series of public lectures given in Moscow in the sixties and seventies by people like Kolmogorov and Arnold, that drew enormous crowds of enthusiastic students and even the general public.
Inspired by Zvezda's talk, Tatiana and Peter met with their department Chairs Michael Burke of SJSU and Gerald Alexanderson of SCU, who promised financial support for a series of six talks a year, with three talks at each campus. Stankova's talk also helped inspire the San Jose Math Circle, as well as a few others in the Bay Area and ultimately paved the way to a nationwide math circle movement.
The first BAMA talks were that fall, and over the years the audience has broadened to include some parents and other adults, older students, and even many middle school students. In 1999 David Hayes of SJSU replaced Michael Burke on the BAMA Steering Committee, serving until he retired in 2006, when Brad Jackson replaced him. Peter Ross of SCU served on the BAMA Steering Committee until his retirement in 2010, when Frank Farris of SCU succeeded him.

BAMA Steering Committee:

  • Tatiana Shubin, SJSU 408-924-5146
  • Brad Jackson, SJSU 408-924-5100
  • Frank Farris, SCU, 408-554-4430
  • Gerald L. Alexanderson , SCU 408-554-6894