Love and Math in Menlo Park Schools

Many math students in the Palo Alto and Menlo Park school system dread the unit of probability, but many would be surprised about math’s role in emotion, specifically love!

According to British mathematician Hannah Fry, mathematics has proven to hold many useful applications in finding love, most notably in the field of probability. Fry discusses the use of probability in online dating sites, such as OkCupid, which was created by mathematicians! Also, Fry introduces the concept of optimal stopping theory to predict marriage compatibility. According to this theory, considering marriage only after a certain number of dates can actually enhance the probability of a successful marriage! Finally, Fry teaches us a math equation that mathematicians can use to predict a couple’s probability of divorce, using data from a wide pool of observations.

Of course, while your typical Palo Alto and Menlo Park schools teaches probability, many students have no idea how these concepts can be applied! Tell your Palo Alto/Menlo Park student to be creative in their studies and try to seek out possible mathematical correlations, such as love.

Menlo Park

Love, Math, Menlo Park

To read more about the topic and to share with your Palo Alto/Menlo Park student, visit

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Hike Near Palo Alto

A great place to hike that is right near Palo Alto is Windy Hill, located in Portola Valley. Windy Hill is only a mere 9 miles from Palo Alto. It is the perfect place to take your family on a sunny afternoon for some fresh air and family fun. You can bring your dog on a leash, fly kites over the preserve or even bring a nice picnic. Your family may even run into a few horses on the hike up!

The Windy Hill Preserve was first recognized in 1980, and is now 1,335 acres. There are plenty of hikes of all different lengths, so you can go for a quick walk, or spend the whole day exploring what the preserve has to offer!

The views of the rolling hills are spectacular, but while you are hiking, feel free to ask your children these questions in order to add some math to the hike.

1) If the length of the hike is 8 miles, and you have already hiked 6 miles, what fraction of the hike do you have left?

2) If you walk at a pace of 4mph, how long will it take to complete the 8-mile hike?

3) When you get to the top of the hill, it is 3pm, if you have 4 more miles to hike and are walking at 2 mph, what time will you make it back down the hill?

Windy Hill is a nice outing for the whole family, and a great place to test your child on their math skills! For more information about Mathnasium of Palo Alto-Menlo Park and other unique word problems, visit our website.

Amusement Park Near Menlo Park

A popular amusement park here in the Bay Area is California’s Great America. Opened in 1976, Great America is only 14 miles from Menlo Park! It has been the site of many films and has lots of fun rides.

One of the most popular rides is Flight Deck, which was opened in 1993 and performs several loops upside down! Another favorite ride at the park is the Centrifuge, which, just like the actual machine, spins people around in a circle and plasters them to the wall. Be careful, you might get dizzy!

Great America also has plenty of games to play and an entire water park to go to when it gets too hot for the rides!

Lets say you take your child to Great America, ask them these questions while at the park to include some math in your trip!

1) Each ticket to Great America costs $33 dollars. If you buy 2 tickets, how much change will you get if you pay with a one hundred dollar bill?

2) At the Panda Express in the park, a bowl of orange chicken and fried rice costs $5.99 and lemonade costs $1.29. If you buy two bowls and one lemonade, how much will it cost?

3) If you have 6 hours and 25 minutes to spend at the park, and you arrive at 10:30am, what time do you have to leave?

As you can see, Great America is an easy day trip from Menlo Park, and a great place to incorporate some math into your child’s day while they are having fun! For more information about Mathnasium of Palo Alto-Menlo Park and other unique word problems, visit our website.

Graphing Math Problems in Menlo Park

The Great Graph Contest will leave your Menlo Park child with a burning desire to start asking questions, gathering data, and making graphs. Loreen Leedy’s, The Great Graph Contest is a cute and creative way to make graphing enjoyable for your kid. Have your children compete to make the best graphs that meet the three criteria (they must be mathematically accurate, neat, and creative). Obviously, it will end in a tie! Have them mix up the types of graphs they make just like they do in the story- pie charts, bar graphs, venn diagrams, etc.- there are many possibilities. The Great Graph Contest is better suited for younger children who are beginning to learn about graphs. This book is an ideal way to get your child to start practicing the graphing they are learning in school. I would recommend this book to all young kids in the Palo Alto and Menlo Park areas. Grab your kid a copy of The Great Graph Contest and watch with wonder as they begin to be more inquisitive and gather data to graph. Watch the work of a little mathematician in the making!

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For more problems and information about math in and book recommendations, check out Palo Alto – Menlo Park Mathnasium’s website.

Prime Numbers and Factoring in Palo Alto

In perhaps the most helpful children’s math book I’ve read to date, Richard Schwartz teaches your child prime numbers and factoring in the book You Can Count on Monsters. I recommend this book to all children in the Palo Alto School District as well as the other Bay Area districts. The only prior knowledge your child needs in order to follow along with this book is how to multiply whole numbers. Schwartz introduces factor trees as an easy way to factor numbers. Schwartz matches a ‘monster’ image to each number. As your child goes through each number from one to one hundred, there is a factor tree for composite numbers and a number (with no factor tree) if it is prime. This easily allows your child to identify the prime numbers. The colorful artwork will keep your child’s interest up while they learn the difficult subject of prime numbers. Many children struggle with understanding prime numbers and You Can Count on Monsters is the perfect book for making prime numbers less scary for your child. At the Palo Alto-Menlo Park center, we sometimes use this book to help children who are having a difficult time learning prime numbers. I without a doubt recommend you pick up a copy of this book and read it with your child. For more information about math books and math help check out our website.

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Math Rhymes in Menlo Park

Math Appeal by Greg Tang, the same author as the New York Times bestseller, is a book of rhyming poems that pose math questions and provide tips and tricks for finding the answer. Math Appeal is bound to be a child’s favorite book to read and reread. It is very beneficial for your Menlo Park child to read since all of the problems are part of Menlo Park’s curriculum. It is a fun read with catchy phrases that will help your child solve math problems, particularly addition, subtraction and multiplication, faster and with higher accuracy. If your child enjoyed Math Potatoes (a review of Math Potatoes is up on the blog) they will definitely love Math Appeal as these two books are incredibly similar in the sense that they are books of math rhymes and tricks. At the back of Math Appeal, there is a section containing the answers to each question with an explanation to help your child understand the problem-solving process. I recommend Math Appeal to the children I tutor at the Mathnasium center. This book is a must read for all young children in the Palo Alto and Menlo Park school districts.

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Amusement Park Math Problems in the Silicon Valley

A great book to get at a library in the Silicon Valley is Safari Park by Stuart Murphy is a story almost any child can relate to. When Grandpa gets 100 tickets to an amusement park, he divides them evenly amongst his five grandchildren. The children can choose to spend the tickets as they please. With each ride costing a different number of tickets, the children have to decide which rides they want to go on and how to best spend their tickets. Your child can follow along with the children in the story and figure out if there are enough tickets to go on all of the rides they want. The author suggests giving your child twenty pieces of paper to act as tickets so they are able to follow along with the story. By actively reading Safari Park to your child, you will help them learn how to find an unknown in an equation and manage tickets/money appropriately in order to purchase all of the items they desire. Safari Park will teach your child practical math skills and is a recommended for young children in the Silicon Valley before they head to Great America in San Jose.

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Math Rhymes (at the Palo Alto Public Library!)

Greg Tang’s Math Potatoes will be a child and parent favorite. This fun, poetic collection of stories presents math in a way that will leave your child craving more. Math Potatoes uses a combination of beautiful illustrations and brief, catchy rhymes to lure your child into the book. Your child will hardly even realize that they are solving difficult math problems! With easy to remember and incredibly useful tips and tricks, this book will  simplify math and make math easier for your child which will help them succeed in school. Math Potatoes is by far the best book to add to your child’s mathematical toolbox. At the end of the book, there is a summary of the math concepts and tricks introduced in each story along with the answers.  The work is shown! This will allow your child to check their answers and solidify their new knowledge. Checking out math books will most definitely help your child remember and store the information they learned from the book. Visual explanations of math problems are proven to be beneficial for learning. At Palo Alto Menlo Park Mathnasium, we have a large selection of books. Be sure to check them out as you wait for your child to finish their session. After your child’s session at Mathnasium of Palo Alto-Menlo Park, head over to the local Palo Alto or Redwood City library and pick up a copy of this incredible  must-read book.


For more fun ways to learn math, visit the Mathnasium of Palo Alto-Menlo Park.

Using Roman Numerals

Here at Mathnasium, we use Arabic numerals. Arabic numerals use the digits 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 to form any number we could come up with. However, who said these were the only type of numbers we could use to do math?

What?! You can use other numbers that aren’t actually numbers to do math? … Sounds crazy, right? But it’s true!

Another type of numerals that you might have heard of are Roman Numerals. They look like this:

Roman Numerals were in use thousands of years ago, before the digits we use today were even invented! Even though the use of Roman Numerals declined as they ere replaced by the current system, around the 14th century, they are still useful to know.

Today, Roman Numerals are generally used on buildings, clocks, in books and even in chemistry and music theory. So, how do you read these unique numbers? Watch this video to find out! Warning, you might have to do some light math to figure these numbers out.


Now that you know how to read Roman Numerals, can you find any around Palo Alto, Stanford, or Menlo Park? Look around, and you may surprised at how many examples of Roman Numerals you discover!

Learn more about Math Tutoring and Mathnasium of Palo Alto-Menlo Park (and find more fun facts and problems) —



Valentine’s Day Math Game Night – Math Tutoring Fun in Palo Alto

Residents of Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Atherton: come join me at Philz Coffee on Forest Ave. Palo Alto for a math game night in celebration of Valentine’s Day! Your kids will get to play math games such as Multiplication War, Cupid Chess, and PIG and GIP with the expert math tutors of Mathnasium of Palo Alto – Menlo Park. This event is perfect for students wanting to practice essential math skills such as fractions, division, and multiplication with their friends at Mathnasium of Palo Alto – Menlo Park.

Math Tutoring in a Fun, Valentines Way for Palo Alto Residents

Math Tutoring in Palo Alto on Valentine's DayMath game night is ideal for kids in 2nd to 5th grade who want to improve their logic, division, and multiplication skills in an engaging way. This game night will be a fun, relaxing way to get your kids excited about math; there will even be prizes raffled off every 15 minutes!

If you’re interested in attending this free, public event, make sure you register at our website ( and secure a spot before the event fills up. Act quickly, as only the first 25 kids will be able to attend Valentines Day math game night at Philz Coffee!