FAQ

When will the Marin Math Circle start again?
Who can join the Marin Math Circle?
What does it cost to join the Marin Math Circle?
Can I join now?
When and where does the Math Circle meet?
Where is the best place to park?
What do I need to bring?
What if I have to miss a meeting?
How do I get on the email list?
I didn’t understand everything at the last session. Should I keep coming?
Can adults attend?
What are the benefits of attending a math circle?
How are the Intermediate and Advanced Circles different from Mathcounts and Mathletes?


When will the Marin Math Circle start again?

The Marin Math Circle will not run during Fall 2015. We hope to restart the program in January 2016.


Who can join the Marin Math Circle?

The Marin Math Circle is intended for students who are good at math and like solving challenging problems. There are three levels. The Elementary Group is recommended for students in grades 3 and 4. The Intermediate Group is recommended for students in grades 5-8, and the Advanced Group is recommended for students in grades 9-12 and advanced 8th graders who are comfortable using algebra. The Advanced Group only runs in years when there is sufficient interest.


What does it cost to join the Marin Math Circle?

Tuition is $150 per student per semester. Multiple student discounts and financial aid are available on request. Please contact the director for details.


Can I join now?

The Marin Math Circle will not run for Fall 2015. We hope to restart the program in January 2016. When it is in session, you can join any time, as long as there is room. To register fill out the online registration form. Once your registration is received, you should get a confirmation by phone or email within a week or two. If we are already at our maximum number of students when you register, then you’ll be put on a wait list until there is room. We can accommodate a maximum of 25 students in the Elementary Group and a maximum of 40 in the Intermediate and Advanced Groups.


When and where does the Math Circle meet?

Between Fall 2009 and Spring 2015, the Marin Math Circle met on the campus of Dominican University one evening per week. We hope to restart the program in January 2016, either at Dominican or at a different location in San Rafael.


Where is the best place to park at Dominican?

Free parking is available in the parking lot of the Conlan Recreation Center at the corner of Acacia Avenue and Grand Avenue. See the campus map to locate the parking lot and campus buildings.


What do I need to bring?

Students in the Intermediate and Advanced Groups should bring a pencil and paper to every session. Graph paper and colored pencils are often useful as well.

Students in the Elementary Group should bring a small pencil case with a few pencils, markers or colored pencils, an eraser, a glue stick, and scissors with rounded edges. In addition, Elementary Group students should bring a quad notebook, which is a notebook containing pages of graph paper instead of lined paper.


What if I have to miss a meeting?

You may be able to find handouts from the session you missed by following links on the schedule for the Intermediate Group or on the Elementary page for the Elementary Group. Because enrollment in the Elementary Circle is limited to 25 students, students in the Elementary Circle who miss more than three sessions in a semester may be asked to give up their spots for students on the waiting list.

 


How do I get on the email list?

Please join the Marin Math Circle google group. All email announcements will be sent through this group. To join, go to https://groups.google.com and search for “Marin Math Circle”.

 
I didn’t understand everything at the last session. Should I keep coming?

Definitely! The material presented at the meetings is often non-traditional and challenging … sometimes even for mathematicians! If you understand even 50% of what goes on, that’s actually a lot. If you keep attending, you’ll find that your problem solving skills improve, you’ll start recognizing themes between sessions, and you’ll understand more and more of what goes on.

Can adults attend?

Parents are welcome to sit in the back in the Intermediate and Advanced Groups. Local teachers are always welcome to observe; please email for details. The Elementary Group uses a few “room parents” to help with administrative details, discipline, and one-on-one math instruction. If you would like to help out as a room parent, please contact mmc.elementary (at) gmail.com . Parents who are not room parents should not plan to stay for class in the Elementary Group, since too many parents can be distracting.

What are the benefits of attending a math circle?

Math circles expose students to challenging problems, including famous problems pondered by some of history’s great mathematicians and logicians. Unlike the problems found in most school math classes, the problems posed in math circle involve deep thinking, creativity, and problems solving techniques that students develop over time. Another important component of math circle is the chance to articulate solutions verbally and in writing and to learn how to write mathematical proofs. In addition, math circle is a place for students to meet area mathematicians and other students with like minds and interests.

 


How are the Intermediate and Advanced Circles different from Mathcounts and Mathletes?

Mathcounts and Mathletes are programs that center on competitive, timed contests. Problem solving at the Math Circle is collaborative — you’ll be working on problems together with your friends. Instead of solving a bunch of unrelated problems, Math Circle lets you explore new mathematical topics in depth. For example, one session may be entirely about 4 dimensional geometry. Another session may be about game theory. Sessions are led by mathematicians, with leaders changing every session or two.

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