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Mathematical Thinking for Insight & Enjoyment Session #5

  • Wayfinding Academy 8010 NORTH CHARLESTON AVENUE Portland, OR 97203 (map)

with Lucas Van Meter 

The soul of mathematics is not esoteric computations, but rather a way of thinking about the world, asking insightful questions, and (sometimes) finding elegant answers. If you play a strategy game, sew a quilt, build a bookshelf, or muse about the fastest way to get from here to there, you are doing math. It is no wonder that mathematics arises in philosophy, science, politics and art. Some people use math as a surgical tool to answer precise questions and others simply study it for the pleasure that understanding a pattern brings.

I will be your guide in the world of mathematical inquiry and show you just how fun and exciting it can be. Among other topics, we will discuss the best way to decide an election, how many ways there are to design wallpaper, why mathematicians say there are different kinds of infinity, and what the possible shape of the universe is.

At it’s best math is hands-on and interactive, and the goal of this Lab is not so much to study math as to do math. We will spend most of our time working collaboratively to solve problems and formulate our own. Through practice and experience we will gain a new perspective on what it means to think mathematically and the diversity of topics in which thinking mathematically can help us.

Math is a way of thinking that everyone can learn through awareness and practice. This lab will give you a new perspective on how a mathematician views the world and new insight into the next challenge you encounter in your own life.

Lab registrations are non-refundable

Mathematical Thinking for Insight & Enjoyment is a 6-part Lab series and meets:

  • Wednesday, Sept 11th: 6-8pm

  • Wednesday, Sept 18th: 6-8pm

  • Wednesday, Sept 25th: 6-8pm

  • Wednesday, Oct 2nd: 6-8pm

  • Wednesday, Oct 9th: 6-8pm

  • Wednesday, Oct 16th: 6-8pm

Meet Your Lab Leader


Lucas Van Meter

is a teacher and mathematician who believes that everyone can find something to love in mathematics. He has taught college students at the University of Washington, inmates at the Washington Corrections Center for Women, high-schoolers at math summer camps, and middle-schoolers in math circles. He holds a PhD in mathematics from the University of Washington, where he studied algebraic geometry and computer vision. He is currently a visiting instructor at Lewis & Clark college.

Lab registrations are non-refundable

What Does It Cost?

We believe that learning in community should be accessible to everyone. We also want to give folks with a little more cushion the chance to support our work. That’s why we offer a sliding scale fee to attend Labs at Wayfinding. 50% of all registration fees go directly to Lab instructors.

Sliding Scale Tiers:

  • Low End - $90

  • Middle - $120

  • Higher End - $180

Please read more about our sliding scale policy to figure out where on the scale you should pay. If the low end of the scale is still too high for you, please reach out directly to our Labs Program Coordinator at We are committed to making our Labs accessible to anyone who is interested! 

Earlier Event: October 4
Practical Adulting
Later Event: October 11
Practical Adulting Session #2