National Association of Math Circles Wiki
Winter 2013 - 2014 NAMC Newsletter

Welcome to Winter 2013-2014 NAMC News including:

(1) Math Circles at the 2014 Joint Math Meetings
Join us for an NAMC social at 6pm on Thursday. See below for more details.

If you can't join us this year at the JMM follow the Math Circle events online,

(2) New members of the NAMC Advisory Committee
(3) Upcoming Math Circle Funding Opportunities : Math Circle Grant - Due Feb 1
(4) Announcing MAA's AMC Advantage - Preparing for AMC 10 & AMC 12
(5) Math Circles in the News:
(6) NAMC Web development
We have made some changes to the website, and could use your help. Each of the newsletter cycles will include a website quest or two.
(7) A Math Circle Problem - to get you to the end of the email
(8) Reminder - Update your Math Circle information
(9) Math Circle Communities

See below for more information and a group quest...

Math Circles at the 2014 Joint Math Meetings
There will be many wonderful Math Circle events at the 2014 JMM. Visit the NAMC JMM website for more information including details about:

Thursday (9:20 a.m. - 9:40 a.m.). Talk: 'Math Club Hosts Math Circle.'
Thursday (2:30 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.). Project NeXT panel: 'Service and Outreach.'
Thursday (6:00pm- 8:00pm). NAMC Dinner at Brio Tuscan Grill (100 East Pratt) Please email NAMC Director Peter Trapa to be included in the headcount for dinner, ptrapa(at) .
Friday (1:00 p.m.-5:50 p.m.) AMS Special Session on Outreach for Mathematically Talented Youth, I
Friday (2:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m.) AMS Committee on Science Policy-AMS Committee on Education Panel Discussion
Saturday (8:00 a.m.-10:50 p.m.) AMS Special Session on Outreach for Mathematically Talented Youth, II
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: Math Circle Workshop.
Saturday (1:00 p.m.-1:50 p.m.) SIGMAA on Math Circles for Students and Teachers: Demonstration for Students & teachers.
Saturday (2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.); SIGMAA on Math Circles for Students and Teachers: A Math Wrangle!

NAMC Advisory Committee
The NAMC Advisory Committee welcomes Peter Trapa as Director. The committee, which is composed of many of the leaders of the NAMC Math Circle movement, is involved in finding funding for Math Circles, NAMC website development, Math Circle programs like Circle on the Road, and much more. Visit the NAMC Advisory Committee webpage to learn more.

If you are interested in joining the NAMC Advisory Committee or Subcommittee, contact us!

Upcoming Math Circle Funding Opportunities

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

Announcing MAA's AMC Advantage - Preparing for AMC 10 & AMC 12
The Math Association of America (MAA) has announced a self-paced, online course to help Math Circles and their students prepare effectively for the upcoming AMC 10/12 contests. The course includes a diagnostic test, skill building problem-sets, full length contest simulations with performance analysis and is carefully designed to help students of all levels prepare efficiently and at their own pace. In addition to AMC contestants, all math students in general may find this course to be very useful in developing their problem-solving skills in general. The course is very modestly priced. Enrollment for individual students and institutions is now open at

Math Circles in the News:
Math Circles across the country are doing many great things, check them out!
Congratulations everyone involved in these achievements! Want to share the good press that your success stories are generating? Be sure to update the wiki page (or send them directly to

NAMC Website Development
We have been working to improve the NAMC website. Here are a few new features for you to check out. As usual please send an e-mail to if you find any problems, or have any suggestions.

The math circles in our list now has an active/inactive flag. Look at the new list Using the dropdown at the top, you can list all circles, only active circles, or only inactive circles. We want to keep records of all past math circles to have a history of the movement.

The summer program page will soon have a similar active inactive flag. Check it out at

The international programs are listed at

Please check the listing of any math circle or summer program that you work with, or have worked with. If the circle is currently inactive, change the flag, or let us know. If you are aware of a circle that is not registered with us, please encourage the organizers to register it.

The website has a problem data base, a problem set list and a math circle activity list.

If you look at the problem data base, you will see that it has a search box near the top and each problem has a check box next to it. You can search for problems related to a topic such as generating functions (type generating into the search) then view various problems. You can check the problems and add them to a problem set. Problem sets can be locked. Even if a problem set is locked, you can clone it to make a new version based on the original. A problem set can have a title and description.

Problem sets may be downloaded in LaTeX or PDF format. One can then make a math circle activity centered around a problem set. You will notice that we do not have very many problem sets yet. Feel free to combine similar problems into sets. We will be bringing more problems to the data base in the near future, so this feature will become even better as time passes.

The problem in this newsletter is related to paper folding.

As a group quest for this cycle, lets see how many new problems related to paper folding we can get the community to upload before the beginning of March. We will then make one or more problem sets based on these paper folding problems.

Math Circle Problem: Keeping all of the materials for the JMM organized takes a bit of work. Once you are at the meeting you find that you have a couple of maps that have been unfolded. You wish to fold them flat to put them back in your briefcase, and you want the maps to be folded the same way they were when you first received them. The following figure shows the two unfolded maps. The thick lines are the edges of the maps, and the thin lines are the only crease lines. The numbers indicate which section was on top (the one numbered with a 1), which came next (the one with a 2) etc. Your problem is to refold these two maps.

This problem came from:

Arkin, Esther M.; Bender, Michael A.; Demaine, Erik D.; Demaine, Martin L.; Mitchell, Joseph S. B.; Sethia, Saurabh; Skiena, Steven S. When can you fold a map? Comput. Geom. 29 (2004), no. 1, 23–46.

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