This is a landing page for Michael Pershan and Max Ray's Complex Numbers project. This is a new (or at least uncommon) approach to teaching complex numbers that puts transformations first.

The short version of the perspective of our work is that all arithmetic can be interpreted as describing motion. The problem is that real arithmetic doesn’t offer us a way to describe most rotations. This is the problem that complex numbers solve.

Email Michael at and for more information!

Contexts for Complex Numbers (NCTM 2015) - Slides

Contexts for Complex Numbers (NCTM 2015) - Handouts

Our Complex Numbers Unit: Moving Through Arithmetic (Google Folder)

Our Complex Numbers Unit: Moving Through Arithmetic (.zip)

"What's My Rule?" App

Nice Things People Said About This:

"What I appreciate most here is that we don’t need to wait until deep into algebra 2 to think about the imaginary unit. These concepts are accessible to younger students, and we have a responsibility to achieve some conceptual buy-in before just thrusting abstract ideas in front of our students." ~Bob

"You know a session is pretty awesome when the person sitting behind you lets out a genuine “Holy sh*t!” when he sees the path the presenters have set us on." ~Ashli

"The session on Complex Numbers with @mpershan and @maxmathforum was AMAZING." ~Steven