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ESP Biography

MAMIKON MNATSAKANIAN, Ex-Soviet scientist simplifying Math at Caltech

Major: Physics/Mathematics/Astrophysics

College/Employer: Caltech

Year of Graduation: 1965

Picture of Mamikon Mnatsakanian

Brief Biographical Sketch:

Mamikon M.

Born in Armenia. Graduated Yerevan University in 1965. As an undergrad- uate created "Visual Calculus' solving many classical problems of calculus geometrically with no use of equations and no special background needed.

Worked at the Byurakan observatory for 25 years with the famous scientist V. Ambartsumian. Developed new generalized general theory of relativity, new methods in stellar statistics/dynamics and in radiation transfer theory. For these developments has been nominated by Caltech for Ambartsumian Prize in Astrophysics.

Established "Center for Mathematical Modeling" at the Armenian Academy of Sciences and 'same-name' Department at Yerevan University, where was a professor of theoretical physics. Investigated seismic safety of Armenian nuclear power plants and designed safety of kindergarten complexes after the 1988 devastating earthquake in Armenia.

Moved to California in 1990 where worked for California State Department of Education, at UC Davis (CPM project), at an elementary Montessori School, then at Caltech Project Mathematics. Received several grants
and awards.

Created a thousand educational problems and puzzles, computer interactive games, and hundreds of Logo-Puzzles for Educational Advertising based on Companies Logos. Patented the most popular now symbol, the Recycling Logo, namely its physical property to spin under flow of air or water, which has dozens of applications (windmills, etc.)

Published over a hundred scientific papers in astrophysics, physics and mathematics.

The samples of the above described areas of research and interest can be found on the website:

and links from there to Caltech and UCLA subpages.

In the USA presented 'Visual Calculus' to hundreds of math teachers and students at schools, conferences, etc., particularly, to the Governor of Florida Summer Program for Talented Students (2001 and 2002). See for example "Introduction by Tom Apostol" on above website by clicking at CALTECH then choosing 'Geometric Nature'.


Past Classes

  (Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)

M794: Visual Calculus via Dissections in Splash! Spring 2010
We will solve many classical calculus problems of finding areas and volumes using a simple visual geometric approach that requires no formulas or equations, no calculations, and no special math background. We will see nice animations, but will mainly do hands-on activities and coloring books. We will 'Slice'N'Slide", like in dissection puzzles, to reshape the complicated calculus shapes into simple triangles, rectangles and circles, and we will visualize reshaping of solid figures as well. No special background is needed just curious mind and lovely attitude to the very fundamental shapes of Nature. The course will be periodically interrupted by "Educational Advertising", or "Logo-Puzzles", with active participation of the students.