Circle in a Box (AMS, Mathematical Circles Library)
November 20, 2018
Math circles provide a setting in which mathematicians work with secondary school students who are interested in mathematics. This form of outreach, which has existed for decades in Russia, Bulgaria, and other countries, is now rapidly spreading across the United States as well. The first part of this book offers helpful advice on all aspects of math circle operations, culled from conversations with over a dozen directors of successful math circles. Topics include creative means for getting the word out to students, sound principles for selecting effective speakers, guidelines for securing financial support, and tips for designing an exciting math circle session. The purpose of this discussion is to enable math circle coordinators to establish a thriving group in which students can experience the delight of mathematical investigation. The second part of the book outlines ten independent math circle sessions, covering a variety of topics and difficulty levels. Each chapter contains detailed presentation notes along with a useful collection of problems and solutions. This book will be an indispensable resource for any individual involved with a math circle or anyone who would like to see one begin in his or her community. Sam Vandervelde teaches at St. Lawrence University. He launched the Stanford Math Circle and also writes and coordinates the Mandelbrot Competition, a math contest for high schools.