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The beauty of I ❤️ Math Day problems

February 9, 2021 | Sam Choi

One of the many beauties of math to me is that it teaches our students to think.  As they advance further into math, it becomes less of memorizing algorithms and more about synthesizing information.  And this is why I enjoy giving out I ❤️  Math Day problems.  Up to this year, I had only enjoyed these problems as a participant but this year, as the one doing the research and discovering the problems, I gained a new level of appreciation.  I have also learned that, like in all things, trust is the first thing that needs to be established.  Students have to trust that I have presented to them a problem that is both difficult enough to challenge them but not so difficult that they have no chance of finding a viable solution.  Another aspect of I ❤️ math day problems is that it should in some way highlight a different facet of mathematical thinking.  So below are two problems that highlight these principles.






Sam Choi

Teacher, 6th - 8th Math

Mr. Choi has been teaching for over twenty years. Prior to Mustard Seed, Mr. Choi taught at a high school and a middle school for students with language based learning differences. He has also taught at an after school tutoring center and a standardized test prep center.

Over his career, Mr. Choi has taught high school Chemistry, Anatomy and Physiology, Computer Programming, Algebra I and II, Geometry, Pre-Calculus, and US and European History. He has also taught middle school PE, Health, Earth Science, Physical Science, Life Science, Pre-Algebra, Algebra, World History and Language Arts, as well as Ethics, Civics, Economics, Christian Studies and Geography.

Mr. Choi enjoys running, watching movies, and cheering for the Kansas City Royals and Chiefs; he has been an avid fan of these teams since 1980.
He is married to Abby Hall Choi and is the father of Noah (MSS Class of 2027) and Jacob (MSS class of 2030).

Mr. Choi was born in Pusan, South Korea, and emigrated to the United States in 1980 with his parents and older brother and sister. He first lived in Kansas City, Kansas and then moved to San Diego, California in 1986. In 2007, Mr. Choi moved to Jersey City, New Jersey. He quickly discovered that living in Southern California does not equip one to survive anywhere outside of Southern California.

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