National Association of Math Circles Wiki
Summer 2013 NAMC Newsletter

Summer 2013 NAMC News:

(0) Website Updates
(1) Math Circles at the 2013 MathFest Meetings
(2) Circle on the Road 2013- A Journey to Puerto Rico
(3) Math Circle Library Books - Prices Reduced!
(4) Upcoming Math Circle Funding Opportunities
(5) Math Circles in the News:
(6) A Math Circle Problem - to get you to the end of the email
(7) Math Circle SWAG
(8) Reminder - Update your Math Circle information
(9) Math Circle Communities

See below for more information on these topics...

Website Update

We are making many updates to the website. Check it out....
* We have added a level-difficulty matrix to the lesson plans and problems.
* We introduced a new system to render mathematical formulas on our site (MathJaX). This will allow users to download better looking PDF files listing the problems and problem sets. It will also let users download the LaTex source for problems and problem sets, to make it easier to customize this material.
* We are also adding "add new" buttons throughout the site. We want to encourage users to contribute materials to the website. This will make the website a better place for all. Anyone can contribute lessons, problems, or problem sets. If you have material related to an existing lesson, you may add your material to the lesson. Try to add references to related lessons. We'll be doing a webinar over the Fall to explain how to make these contributions!
* We've changed our Summer Math Programs page to a format similar to Math Circles listing. We are still migrating summerprograms over from our old page. Find the Math Camps that work best for your students!
* We've updated the Math Circle template to include more components include active and inactive markings - no more searching for a Math Circle just to learn they aren't active. Find out before you try to contact them! We'll be asking everyone to update their Math Circle's profiles, be on the lookout for an email!

Stay up to date with all the website updates... 2013 Website Updates

Want to help with the website? We can definitely use your help as we update the website!
(1) Please send e-mail to us including the url and a description of any issue you find with the page.
(2) Contact us if you would like to be on the Website Committee, We'll be meeting in August.

Math Circles at the 2013 MathFest Meetings
There will be many wonderful Math Circle events at the 2013 MathFest. Visit the NAMC MathFest website for more information including details about NAMC and other Math Circle activities including...

* All week we'll be exhibiting at the NAMC Booth - come visit or present an activity, Check out the available booth times here
* Thursday (1:00 – 4:15 p.m.); SIGMAA MCST Session: "Math Circles: Best Practices" Hall of Ideas G.
* Thursday (6:15 p.m.-9:00 p.m.) NAMC MathCircle hosted Appetizers and self-hosting Dinner
* Saturday - MathFest 5K is sponsored by NAMC - we'll see you there for a jog or a walk!
* Saturday( 9:00 a.m.-9:55 a.m.) SIGMAA on Math Circles for Students and Teachers: Demonstration for Mathematicians.
* Saturday (10:00 a.m.-10:55 a.m.) SIGMAA on Math Circles for Students and Teachers: Demonstration for Students.

Circle on the Road 2013- Escape to Puerto Rico

The 2013 Circle on the Road was a wonderful success! Workshop activities included discussions, presentations, and a Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival for the general public. The Guest Mathematical Speaker was Chaim Goodman-Strauss (Univ. Arkansas Fayetteville) who highlighted his twenty year mathematics outreach efforts. Check out the Youtube video of his presentation Click Here!. Another highlight was presentations by Mathematical Education researchers Kristin Umland (University of New Mexico), Robert N. Ronau (University of Louisville) and Christopher R. Rakes (University of Maryland, Baltimore County) who discussed how Math Circles can support the Common Core Mathematics Standards in K-12 education. View their materials and presentations on the site!

For a complete schedule with activities and videos check out:

Finally we've shared great photos and ideas from the COR on the NAMC Facebook page. Check them out...

Math Circle Library Books - Prices Reduced!

We're writing to let you know about a wonderful mathematics resource: the AMS/MSRI Mathematical Circles Library. AMS dramatically reduced the prices of books in this series; books that were over $50 are now just $18.75.

As you are well aware, it’s vitally important to develop children’s problem-solving skills and their reasoning ability.  There’s no better way to achieve both than by engaging kids in doing fun mathematics. 

Several years ago, the American Mathematical Society (AMS) and the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) started publishing a book series specifically devoted to math circles – the AMS/MSRI Mathematical Circles Library.  Twelve volumes are now available.  They are aimed at different ages – from 3-year old kids to 12th graders to teachers and math circle leaders; the books address different levels – from children just getting a taste for challenging math puzzles to students aspiring to succeed in top-level math competitions such as USAMO; the books cover diverse topics such as arithmetic and algebra, geometry and combinatorics.  Books in this series include many great math problems and tips for running math circles. 

The greatly reduced prices on these books should make them affordable to a much larger audience.  Most of the books are only $18.75 (plus shipping) if ordered directly from the AMS web site at
Please, browse the site, order books (they make great and very helpful gifts, too!), and spread the word about this unique and affordable book series as widely as you can

Upcoming Math Circle Funding Opportunities

For more information about funding opportunities for Math Circles and similar programs visit

If you have more funding ideas, please share them on the wiki!

Math Circles in the News:

Math Circles across the country are doing many great things, check them out!
We would like to congratulate everyone involved in these achievements! One highlight is a recent article about the Newark Area Math Circle in the May 2013 Math Alliance Newsletter (.pdf)

A new Math Circle has been launched in the Navajo Nation. David Auckly, Henry Fowler, Matthias Kawski, Amanda Serenevy, Tatiana Shubin, Nandor Sieben are serving as instructors with the help of Hugo Rossi, Leon Jackson, Nonabah Sam, Dan McLaughlin, Rydell Curley, Cuyler Frank, Stella Ben, Dawayne Bahe and Natasha Beall. Thirty-Six
high school students from the reservation will spend two weeks at a summer math camp
hosted at Dine College in Tsalie, AZ. We expect a couple dozen local teachers to attend a professional development workshop in the middle of the program.

Math Circle Problem:

Class discipline is a problem at the moment. All of the students are laughing.
There is a way to turn this laughter into insight, but there is a catch:
it is only possible to change AAH into HAA and vice versa or AHH into HHA and vice versa. Which of the following crazy laughs can be used as teaching moments i.e. all As followed by all Hs AAAHH?


See the Laughter into Insight lesson plan. If you try this problem in your math circle leave comments on the lesson plan page, and let us know how it worked. It is a follow-up to the well known rational tangle lesson plan.


We don't currently have funds to purchase cool NAMC swag for all the wonderful students and teachers across the country who are participating in our programs. That said there are many cool resources who do have freebies that might be of interest to you. Brandy recently put together this list - what would you add?

** AMS is a great resource for these items for your teachers They've sent me big boxes of stuff before. The teachers especially love their academic year calendars, the imagery calendars, and the Women Doing Mathematics posters.

** Alissa Crans also has worked with the Marbles Brain Store to get a large selection of donations.

** Loreal does this cool publication with AAAS that I've given out  to my teachers. They really love it. It's focused on bios of different women in STEM careers. It was very nicely done. I know that they only have the .pdf online but I've sent them requests before and they've sent me stuff.

** NSA always has great stuff to give away at MathFest and JMM. I don't know who to contact there but I'm sure they'd mail it to you.

** Art of Problem Solving will send you a pile of their awesome brochures.

Update your Math Circle information

We currently have 145 Math Circles listed on our website.
If you organize one of these Circles please make sure your information is up-to-date. This is the number one way for students and teachers to find you! If your circle is now inactive, please do not delete it. Instead, put a note that it is now inactive.

Math Circle Communities

To see more Math Circle News and Upcoming Events visit the website, More community features are soon to come to the website but while you’re waiting join us for 2 community interactions.
Circle of Circles Group
Facebook Page

Alliance Newsletter- May.pdf730.87 KB