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Learning to Love Mathematics

Nabil Hassein, Margot Armbruster
March 29, 2024 to May 31, 2024 (10 classes)
Fridays, 1-4pm EST
Online (Zoom)
$1200 Scholarships available learn more...
Applications closed on February 5, 2024

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Mathematics is among the most influential and wide-reaching varieties of knowledge, with applications to virtually all branches of science as well as many if not most artistic and humanistic fields, and yet mathematics is also widely despised, in no small part due to elitism and rote approaches to teaching the subject draining it of all originality and joy. This course is an invitation to learners who may have been traumatized by their own mathematics education to begin to change their relationship to mathematics for the better, through varied activities including study of the cross-cultural histories of the discipline, reflection on our past experiences as students, playing games of strategy, listening to music for harmonic and rhythmic structure, and doing old-fashioned math exercises.

Course of Study

  • Week 1: Introduction & History of Mathematics
  • Week 2: Conceptual Mathematics, Part 1; Reflections on our Math Educations, Part 1
  • Week 3: Conceptual Mathematics, Part 2; Project Proposals
  • Week 4: Music Night with Rhythms and Harmonies; Reflections on our Math Educations, Part 2
  • Week 5: Guest Teacher 1
  • Week 6: Game Night; Works in Progress Review
  • Week 7: Guest Teacher 2
  • Week 8: Logics
  • Week 9: Reflections on our Math Educations, Part 3
  • Week 10: Final Project Review


Time & Workload
  • Participants should expect to spend at least an additional 3-5 hours per week outside of class time on readings and exercises, and the project of their own choice (very freeform according to learners' goals and availability, as briefly described above).
  • A device capable of connecting to Zoom and reading PDFs
  • A paper notebook and pen or pencil for exercises
Learning Outcomes
  • Learners should expect to gain some survey knowledge of the history of mathematics, to gain a modicum of experience in applying mathematics to diverse fields of everyday life such as games and music appreciation, to reflect deeply on their own mathematics educations, and to acquire confidence in devising self-study programs to continue to change their relationships with mathematics for the better after the course concludes.

Is this class for me?

This class may be for you if:

  • If you hate mathematics but want to change that, or if you see the beauty in mathematics but don't understand it, or if you already you love mathematics and want to help others love it too, this class is for you!

Meet the Teachers


Nabil Hassein

Nabil Hassein is a technologist, researcher, and educator who previously worked as a high school math teacher, a software developer, and a freelancer, and is currently a PhD candidate in New York University's Department of Media, Culture, and Communication, writing a dissertation on Arabic-based programming languages and their associated communities. Nabil is an alum of SFPC's previous full time program, and has previously worked for SFPC as a teaching assistant in the critical theory of technology course and co-organizer of Code Ecologies and Mathematics as a Religious Experience, besides previous iterations teaching Learning to Love Mathematics.

they/them, he/him · website


Margot Armbruster

Margot Armbruster is a poet and SFPC alum in Brooklyn, NY. Margot has worked as a writer, researcher, educator, community organizer, and musician at The Pauli Murray Center for History and Social Justice, the National Humanities Center, Yale University Press, and elsewhere. They currently research higher education at a New York-based media company. Margot’s creative work appears in The Guardian, USA Today, Belt Magazine, and The Adroit Journal, among other outlets. They are interested in music, math, linguistics, conversation, and prayer, and practice each of these in earnest imperfection. Margot earned a B.A. in English and Political Theory at Duke University, where they picked figs and took long autumn walks in the campus gardens.

any · instagram


Our programs are conducted in spoken English with audiovisual materials such as slides, code examples and video. Online programs are held over Zoom.

Please take care and be well. We hope you are comfortable in your housing, living, and working situation in general. Never hesitate to ask us for advice and reach out if you have accessibility requests or need any assistance during your time at SFPC. We will work closely with you towards co-creating the most accommodating learning environment for your needs.

reach out with questions about access...

How do I apply?

Apply Now

How would you describe your most recent experience in a math classroom?

Applications open until Applications closed on February 5, 2024.

You can expect to hear back from us about the status of your application on February 19, 2024. Please email us at with any questions you have.

more about what we look for in participants...

How much does it cost to attend?

For 10 classes, it costs $1200 + processing fees, for a one-time payment. We also offer payment plans. Participants can schedule weekly or monthly payments of the same amount. First and last payments must be made before the start and end of class. *Processing fees apply for each payment.

SFPC processes all payments via Withfriends and Stripe. Please email if these payment options don't work for you.

Upon payment, your space in the class will be reserved. We offer scholarships for those who cannot pay full tuition. Read more about scholarships below.

I can’t pay for SFPC. Can I come at a reduced rate, or for free?

If you can’t pay full tuition, we really still want you to apply. Our application will ask you how much you can pay. We will offer subsidized positions in all of our classes, once each one has enough participants enrolled that we’re able to do so.

We have also started a scholarship fund, and we will be offering additional scholarships as community members redistribute their wealth through SFPC. We direct scholarship funds towards participants who are low-income, Black, Indigenous, racialized, gendered, disabled, Queer, trans, oppressed, historicially excluded and underrepresented.

Right now, tuition is SFPC’s main source of income, and that is a problem. It means that we can only pay teachers, pay for space, and organize programs when participants pay full tuition to attend. Tuition is a huge barrier to entry into the SFPC community, and it disproportionately limits Black participants, indigenous participants, queer and trans participants, and other people who are marginalized, from participating. Scholarships are not a long term solution for us, but in the short and medium term we hope to offer them more while we work towards transforming SFPC’s financial model.

How can I help others to attend SFPC?

For SFPC to be the kind of place the community has always meant it to be, it needs to become a platform for wealth redistribution. If you are a former participant, prospective participant, or friend of the school, and you have the financial privilege to do so, please donate generously. There is enough wealth in this community to make sure no one is ever rejected because of their inability to pay, and becoming that school will make SFPC the impactful, imaginative, transformative center of poetry and justice that we know it can be.

What if I can’t go, can I get a refund?

  • Yes, we can give you 100% refund up to 10 days before class starts
  • 50% refund after 10 days, until the first day of the class
  • No refunds can be given after the first day of the class

Interested in more learning opportunities at the School for Poetic Computation? Join our newsletter to stay up to date on future sessions and events, and follow us on Instagram and Twitter. Support our programming through scholarships. Get in touch over email.