Meet Tricia Colclaser

What is special about AIS?

My students and my colleagues! I treasure the close student relationships that I form, and love the small class sizes. I love getting to know students outside of the classroom. I love watching them on the field, court, or stage. I love learning about their hobbies and their interests. I love stopping to talk to them in the hallway between classes. It's these small, seemingly unremarkable moments that make such a difference in getting to know our girls well! It's so important that they know I am here to support them, and that as both their math teacher or class dean, I am their biggest cheerleader! I also feel so fortunate to work alongside so many wonderful supportive educators. I learn from them every day!

What made you want to teach math? Was there a moment in your life where you knew math would be your focus?

I have always loved math and the logical, problem solving process. When I went to college I thought I wanted to be an engineer, but I had always been drawn to the field of education. I was one of those little girls who loved to "play school" with my whiteboard and pretend class in the basement. I had a wonderful mathematics professor in college and she really encouraged me to pursue teaching. 

What are your favorite math courses to teach? 

I'd have to say Calculus I Honors. So many real world applications! I'm excited to try a new project this year that involves using the area between two curves to quantify inequity in a society's income distribution.

Do you remember a time when a student made a breakthrough with an equation and everything clicked for her?

I don't remember a specific moment to share, but these small "a-ha" moments happen often in math and it is the best feeling, for both the teacher and the student!

How has technology affected your classroom practices?  

I use the ScribbleTogether App and it is AMAZING. It's a simple idea/app but really helps even the playing field between my in person learners and my remote learners. I participated in the Legacy thru Leadership program two years ago where I learned so many ways to incorporate technology into my classroom practices with things like Desmos, PearDeck, Explain Everything, edpuzzle, and more!

What’s your favorite number? Why?

1,729, it's the smallest number expressible as the sum of cubes in two different ways. The story of the number 1,729 goes back to the year 1918 when Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan lay sick in a clinic near London and his friend and collaborator G.H. Hardy paid him a visit. Hardy said that he had arrived in taxi number 1729 and described the number “as rather a dull one." Ramanujan replied to that saying, “No, Hardy, it’s a very interesting number! It’s the smallest number expressible as the sum of two cubes in two different ways."

Ramanujan, in his ailing state saw that 1,729 can be represented as:

1³ + 12³ = 1 + 1,728 = 1,729

9³ + 10³ = 729 + 1,000 = 1,729

Because of this incident, 1,729 is now known as the Ramanujan-Hardy number. To date, only six taxi-cab numbers have been discovered that share the properties of 1,729. These are the smallest numbers which are the sum of cubes in different ways.

What’s something we don’t know about you? 

I worked on a dude ranch in Colorado as a kids counselor and I spent my days riding horses in the summers during college. I met my husband there and after college I moved to CO where I taught middle school math and went to graduate school for my masters in math. I also lived in the DC area for about nine years, but I am so happy to be back in my hometown. I went to Archbishop Carroll down the road from AIS.

Ms. Colclaser

Started at AIS: 2017

Teaches: Upper School Math