Stanford Math Circle

If you have questions about the math circle not answered by our FAQ, please contact
us!
Announcements
(June 2016)
We anticipate that we will begin
accepting applications for the Fall, 2016 quarter of the
Stanford Math Circles in August. Look for updates here and on
our public
mailing list in late July.
(APRIL 11, 2016)
(1) On April
21, the
Stanford Mathematics Department and the Society for Art &
Cultural Heritage of India present an evening celebrating the
life and legacy of Ramanujan in connection with the
forthcoming film about him, “The Man Who Knew Infinity,”
.There will be Q&A session afterward with the film's
director and two Stanford mathematicians who will discuss
Ramanujan's mathematical legacy. http://mathematics.stanford.edu/2016/03/11/filmcelebrationoframanujan/
(2) on April 28,
Stanford PreCollegiate Studies and the Stanford Math
Circle will present a film "Navajo
Math Circles", about the collaboration of Navajo
teachers and mathematicians to create math circles in this
underserved community. There will be a Q&A session
afterward with Tatiana Shubin, a math professor at San Jose
State, who was one of the driving forces behind the creation
of the circle [and is a frequent session leader at Bay Area
Math Circles, including our own]. You can learn more about the
film at: http://www.zalafilms.com/navajo/
[If you
can't make it to Stanford on that day  or if you're
ATTENDING one of our math circles, some of which,
unfortunately, overlap with the time of the movie  there are
two other screenings in the Bay Area, one at the Exploratorium
in San Francisco on Saturday, April 16, at 2 PM http://www.exploratorium.edu/visit/calendar/saturdaycinemanavajomathcircles
and one in Berkeley on Wednesday, April 20th,
at 7 PM , at the Rialto Cinema/Elmwood at College and
Ashby http://www.rialtocinemas.com/index.php?location=elmwood&film=2016_navajo
I don't think those are free, though.)
(B)
Nueva School is hosting another Math Circle event on Friday
April 29th from 5 to 8:30 PM. It's sort of a
onedayonly math circle, they'll have programs for students
from PreK to 11th grade, and you don't have to be a Nueva
student to participate. The high school program will be led by
Ravi Vakil, faculty sponsor of the Stanford math circle. " Parents
are invited to participate with their children in the Math
Circle, and are asked to supervise their own children. This is
not a dropoff event." Space is limited,
so sign up soon. See http://www.nuevaschool.org/outreach/mathcircles
for details.
(C) There are two
upcoming Julia Robinson Math Festivals on
the Peninsula, always great fun! These are also a little
like a math circle, they have lots of tables with
interesting math activities (and an instructor at each table
to guide students). Working on problems earns you raffle
tickets for prizes. The first is at Girl's Middle School in
Palo Alto on the afternoon of Saturday, April 30,
it's open to
girls in grades 49, see http://jrmf.org/festival.php?id=87 to
sign up. The
second is at Stanford on Sunday, May 1, for
grades 612 go to http://jrmf.org/festival.php?id=98 to
sign up
OLDER ANNOUNCEMENTS
(January 6, 2016)
AMC 10 & AMC 12 are each 75 minute, 25
question math competitions in secondary school mathematics
containing problems which can be understood and solved with
precalculus concepts. Any student in grade 12 or younger may take
the AMC 12; only students in grade 10 or younger may take the AMC
10. The contests are meant to be enjoyable, spurring interest in
mathematics and offering challenging problems of a different
nature than those you may encounter in a math class.
The Stanford Math Circle, in cooperation with the Stanford Math
Department and the Stanford PreCollegiate Studies Program, will
once again be offering the AMC 10/12 contests to Bay Area students
who are not otherwise able to participate. Students who attend a
school where the contests are offered must
take them at their own school  most high schools, and even some
middle schools, already give the AMC contests.
I hate to keep harping on this restriction, but it's important.
We would like to make it possible for everyone to take these
contests, but we do have limited space. Every year we fill up and
must turn away students. Students who can take the contest at
their own schools must do so, both to make the test available to
others and to help with test security. PLEASE read the eligibility
requirements and VERIFY that your school does not offer these
contests.
If you are uncertain whether your school participates in the AMC
10 or 12, you may consult http://amcreg.maa.org/amc_external/SchoolSearchByZipCode.aspx
, which will tell you if they participated last year or if they
have already signed up to participate this year. Please do this
before signing up to take the contest at Stanford. Be aware that
some schools may sign up just shortly before the date of the
contest. The best way to be sure is to contact the math department
of your school.
Note that even if your own school does not offer the AMC 10 or
12, it is possible there is another test site nearer to you than
Stanford that does  for example, the Fremont Union High School
district has offered the tests at a districtwide location in
recent years.
For 2016 the tests will be offered on Tuesday February 2
(the "A" tests) and Wednesday February 17 (the
"B" tests). Students may participate in either test, or both  it
is possible to take the AMC 10 on one date and the AMC 12 on the
other, assuming all other eligibility requirements are met.
Students who do NOT attend a school where the contest is given may
sign up to take the contest at Stanford here: http://tinyurl.com/gmm2bk8
Another great contest is the tenth annual North
American Computational Linguistics Olympiad (NACLO)
this will be on January 28, 2016. There will be test sites at
Stanford (run by the linguistics department) and San Jose State
and possibly at some local high schools. Check the NACLO handbook
for more information as well as the Stanford site https://sites.google.com/site/naclostanford/.
(Note  the Math Circle does not run this contest, and can't
answer any questions about its logistics. )
"This olympiad is a contest in which highschool students solve
linguistic puzzles. In solving the problems, students learn about
the diversity and consistency of language, while exercising logic
skills. No prior knowledge of linguistics or second languages is
necessary. Professionals in linguistics, computational linguistics
and language technologies use dozens of languages to create
engaging problems that represent cutting edge issues in their
fields. The competition has attracted top students to study and
work in those same fields. It is truly an opportunity for young
people to experience a taste of naturallanguage processing in the
21st century."
(November 16, 2015)
We are currently accepting applications for the Winter quarter of
the math circles. Note that students currently enrolled in the
Math Circles for Winter quarter must reapply to
indicate that they wish to continue in the circle (they are
guaranteed acceptance if they reapply by December 2; after that
date, we may begin filling spaces from the wait list). Students
currently on the waitlist who wish to remain active on the list
must also reapply by the same date.
After December 2nd, we will readmit continuing students, then
fill all remaining spaces by lottery from the wait lists. Students
will be informed of their application status on or before
Wednesday, December 9.
The winter quarter runs over 10 weeks, we meet every Thursday
between Thursday, January 7 through Thursday, March 10. For
details about our difference sections, see the FAQ.
Instructions for applicants are here
Four other upcoming events:
 Stanford
public mathematics talk by Tadashi Tokieda Thursday,
December 3 @ 7:30 PM. in Hewlett 200 The event is free and for
the general public, and Tokieda is a highly recommended public
mathematics speaker. The lecture title is "Science from a Sheet
of Paper."
 the next free Bay
Area Math Adventure will be on Friday December 4, at Santa
Clara University mathematician Daniel Goldston will be speaking
on "Sums and Differences of Pairs of Primes"
 Proof School, a private middle school/high school in San
Francisco for students who love mathematics is sponsoring a free
math resource fair on Sunday, December 6, with
representatives from Bay Area math programs (including the
Stanford Math Circle), summer camps, and other things
mathematicallymotivated students and families should know
about.
 Physicist Robert Lang will give a talk
on Tuesday December 8 @7:30 PM at Stanford (location to be
announced) entitled "From Flapping Birds to Space Telescopes:
The Art and Science of Origami"
(October 12, 2015)
Ravi Vakil  Stanford Math Professor (and math department
faculty sponsor for the Math Circle) will be giving a public
talk at the Proof School in San Francisco on Friday,
Nov 6 at 6:30 PM. His talk is entitled "The Mathematics of
Doodling". Tickets are free, but you do need to sign
up in advance.
Celebration of Mind @ Stanford. This
event is part of a global celebration held to honor the
legacy of recreational mathematician Martin Gardner, a renowned
author of popular mathematics. The program is free and open to the
public for math enthusiasts of all ages, and takes place on
Sunday, November 1, 3:00 – 5:30. The program consists of short
talks in mathematics and related fields presented in Cubberley
Auditorium, followed by mathematical puzzles, games and other
activities in the Cubberley Lobby (for the very dedicated, there
will be a celebration of Mind event on Saturday
Oct 31 at MSRI in Berkeley, too!).
The AMC 8 is a fun mathematics competition,
aimed primarily at middle schoool students, though some younger
students may also enjoy the contest.This year, the contest will be
held on Tuesday, November 17. The Stanford Math Circle will again
offer the AMC 8 contest to local students. You don't have to be a
member of the math circle to participate, but you DO have to be in
8th grade or younger, and if your own school offers the AMC 8, you
must take it at your own school. Many local
middle schools, and even a few elementary schools, already offer
the AMC 8 to their students. [EXTRA: I have just learned from
a headmaster that the local Challenger schools will be offering
the AMC 8 this year!] You can find a list of all the
schools that participated last year [or have already registered
for this year] here:
 but the list may not yet be complete for this year, please
confirm with your school's math department head that they will not
be offering the AMC 8 before signing up to take it with us.
If you are interested and eligible in taking the AMC 8
contest at Stanford, please sign up here;
We'll send followups with more information, times, driving
instructions, etc,, to those who sign up during the week of
November 9.
You can see problems
and solutions from previous years of the AMC 8 here: And
I've been told that edfinity also offers a free
AMC 8 prep course.
(August 19, 2015)
Applications for fall quarter of the Stanford Math Circle are now
open! We will be accepting applications until September 2, and
admission decisions should go out by the end of the following
week. All circles will begin on Thursday, September 24, and will
meet every Thursday evening (except on Thanksgiving) through
Thursday, December (inclusive), a total of 10 sessions.
If we have more applicants than space for a given circle (which
is quite likely for the elementary and middle school circles) we
will hold a lottery among those who applied by the deadline.
Within the same age group for a circle, we give priority to
students who are new to that level circle for fall quarter 
however, once admitted in the fall, a student will have priority
for winter and spring quarters if he or she wishes to continue.
Tuition for 20152016 will be $275 per quarter. Financial aid is
available for those for whom this is a hardship.
Sections and Application links:
We are expanding our middle school program, subdividing it into a
5th6th grade circle and a 7th8th grade circle. Our circles for
fall will be
Grade placement in the elementary circles is based on a student’s
age and grade in school, not his or her mathematics ability. For
the advanced circle, we can accept some
unusually prepared middle school students. Most often readiness
for the advanced math circle is demonstrated through scores on
math contests like the AMC 10, AIME, or BAMO.
All of these programs are primarily for students who are already
excited about mathematics and want to see  and do  more than
they have the opportunity to do in school. In the elementary
circle, the focus is on logical reasoning, "thinking like a
mathematician" and problem solving, rather than mathematical
acceleration. In the middle and advanced circles, students are
exposed to skills and topics in higher mathematics that are
outside the standard curriculum. We may also do some practice
sessions for middle school and high school mathematics contests
(such at the AMC contests, BAMO, ARML, etc.), but that is not our
primary emphasis.
At the application links listed above, students who have
previously applied to any SPCS program (they are listed in great
deal at the top) need only click the "Apply" button and sign in to
their alreadyexisting SPCS account; students who are new fill out
two "preliminary" information sheets with basic information 
once that is complete, you will get an automated email that might
say "your preliminary application is complete"  but be aware
that you need to explicitly click a radio button choosing at least
one section to which you are applying to have an application
submitted (you'll get an email when you submit that, too!)
See our FAQ for more details,
and join our google
groups mailing list to receive any updates.
(June 30, 2015)
The Stanford Math Circle is on summer break; The Fall quarter
will begin in late September. We expect to open applications for
fall quarter in midAugust, we will make announcements here when
we are ready to begin accepting applications.
(February 23, 2015)
We are now accepting applications for the Spring
quarter of the math circles. The deadline for applying to the math
circle for spring quarter is Friday, March 6.
Students currently enrolled in the Math Circles for
Winter quarter must reapply to indicate that they wish
to continue in the circle (they are guaranteed acceptance if they
reapply by Friday, March 6th; after that date, we may begin
filling spaces from the wait list). Students currently on the
waitlist should also reapply by Friday, March 6th
to remain active on the wait list. New applications may also be
made  the deadline for all applications is Friday March 6th,
applications submitted after that will only be considered if space
is available.
Elementary
Circle (grades 14) 
Middle School Circle (grades 58) 
Advanced Circle (grades 912) 
FIRST TIME APPLYING THIS ACADEMIC YEAR 
Use this
link to create and complete an application 
Use
this
link to create and complete an application whether
first time applying this year or not. 
Use this
link to create and complete an application whether
first time applying this year or not. 
REAPPLYING (enrolled or waitlisted in fall or spring of
this academic year) 
Use this
link to login to your student page and select course
preferences for next quarter 
The spring quarter will begin on Thursday, April 2 and run for 10
weeks, ending on Thursday, June 4.
In other news: Proof School Talk! PoShen Loh.
PoShen Loh, a frequent visitor to our math circle (Carnegie
Mellon math professor, lead coach of the USA International Math
Olympiad Team, cofounder of expii.com), will be giving a free
public talk in San Francisco on Friday, March 6 from 7 to 8 PM.
The location is Xavier Chapel in Fromm Hall, 650 Parker Avenue,
San Francisco. He'll be talking on Very Very VERY large numbers:
Abstract:It's easy to generate large
numbers for their own sake. A more interesting question is whether
huge numbers ever arise naturally from simplelooking situations.
In this talk, we will explore two examples of this phenomenon. The
first will be a surprise from the International Mathematical
Olympiad. The second concerns Szemeredi's Regularity Lemma, a
result of central significance in graph theory.
(This sounds like a version of the math circle session he ran at
our advanced circle in December 2013  which was really
excellent! And any lecture or math circle of PoShen's is highly
recommended.) The event is free, but you do need to sign
up in advance.
Also, Bay Area Math Adventures will have their next session on
Wednesday, March 4 at Santa Clara University. Frederico Ardila, of
San Francisco State University will talk about Tilings in
Combinatorics, Algebra, and Geometry. See http://www.mathematicaladventures.org/files/docs/1415_BAMA_5.pdf
(December 17, 2014)
The Winter quarter of the Stanford Math Circle will begin on Thursday,
January 8. It runs for 10 weeks, finishing on Thursday,
March 12. We expext to reopen applications for Spring
quarter in late February.
On December 11, the Advanced Math Circle finished the Fall
quarter with an extra session, led by PoShen Loh, Carnegie Mellon
Math professor, National Coach for the US International
Mathematics Olympiad Team and cofounder of expii.com.
The next day, he was off to New York, where he led a similar
session at the New York Math Circle.
Save the date! The next Bay
Area Math Adventure is coming on Friday, January 23 at Santa
Clara University  Carl Pomerance, of Dartmouth University, will
be speaking on "What
we still don't know about addition and multiplication" (one
answer: more than you think!)
There are lots of great math contests coming up in late January
and February (you don't have to be a member of the math circle to
participate!)
 On January 29, 2015, the ninth annual North
American Computational Linguistics Olympiad (NACLO)
will be held. This is the qualifying contest for a more advanced
round, which is used to pick the US team for the International
Linguistics Olympiad. There will be test sites at Stanford (run
by the linguistics department) and San Jose State and possibly
at some local high schools. Check the NACLO
handbook for more information. (Note  the Math Circle
does not run this contest, we're just an enthusiastic supporter
 I mean, check out these
problems!)
"This
olympiad is a contest in which highschool students solve
linguistic puzzles. In solving the problems, students learn
about the diversity and consistency of language, while
exercising logic skills. No prior knowledge of linguistics or
second languages is necessary. Professionals in linguistics,
computational linguistics and language technologies use dozens
of languages to create engaging problems that represent
cutting edge issues in their fields. The competition has
attracted top students to study and work in those same fields.
It is truly an opportunity for young people to experience a
taste of naturallanguage processing in the 21st century."
 The "AMC 10" and "AMC 12"
are each 75 minute, 25 question math competitions in secondary
school mathematics containing problems which can be understood
and solved with precalculus concepts. Any student in grade 12
or younger may take the AMC 12; only students in grade 10 or
younger may take the AMC 10. The contests are meant to be
enjoyable, spurring interest in mathematics and offering
challenging problems of a different nature than those you may
encounter in a math class. Please note that the
"Registration" link at the web site linked above is for
schools and test sites  individual students do NOT register
there, they take the test at their own school or sign up at
another test site.
The Stanford Math Circle, in cooperation with the Stanford
Math Department and the Stanford PreCollegiate Studies
Program, will once again be offering the AMC 10/12 contests to
Bay Area students who are not otherwise able to
participate. Students who attend a school
where the contests are offered must take them at their
own school  most high schools, and even some middle
schools, already give the AMC contests .
For 2014 the tests will be offered on Tuesday
February 3 (the "A" tests) and Wednesday
February 25 (the "B" tests). Students may
participate in either test, or both  it is possible to take
the AMC 10 on one date and the AMC 12 on the other, assuming
all other eligibility requirements are met. If you are
uncertain whether your school participates in the AMC 10 or
12, you may consult this
link, which will tell you if they participated last year
or if they have already signed up to participate this year.
Please do this before signing up to take the contest
at Stanford. Students who do NOT attend a school where the
contest is given may sign
up to take the contest at Stanford here.
 The Stanford Math
Tournament will be held on Saturday, February 14.
(Registration deadline: January 20). Teams compete in groups of
up to eight students, and work on short answers as well as
proofbased questions in their team, and also take an individual
contest with a choice of either individual subject tests or a
general test. Students who do not have a full team can choose to
be joined with other incomplete teams. The contest runs in
cooperation with Rice and Johns Hopkins Universities.
 The Bay Area Math Olympiad
will be held on February 24. This is a long (4 hours)
proofbased contest, with a version for students in 8th grade
and younger, and another version for students in 9th12th grade.
We anticipate offering this contest at Stanford for students who
are not able to participate at their own schools, look for more
details in late January. (Students  especially those younger
than 6th grade  are strongly
advised to try the contests
from previous years to be sure they understand the nature
of the contest before signing up)
Older Announcements
(October 14, 2014)
On Saturday, October 18 from 3 to 5 PM in
Cubberly Auditorium, the Celebration of Mind at Stanford
will be held. It's a free event for people of all ages who find
enjoyment in recreational mathematics. See these driving directions
(you may park without a permit on Saturdays)ote that parking
permits are not required in "A" and "C" parking spaces on
Saturdays.
This celebration is part of a global celebration held to honor
the legacy of recreational mathematician Martin Gardner, a
renowned author of popular mathematics, and this year marks the
100th anniversary of his birth. The program consists of short
talks in mathematics and related fields presented in Cubberley
Auditorium (directions and parking information below), followed by
mathematical puzzles, games and other activities in the Cubberley
Lobby.
The program includes talks by renowned computer scientist Donald
Knuth and NY Times Numberplay blogger Gary Antonick,
with activities and contributions from Elwyn Berlekamp, the
Grabarchuk Family offering a puzzle contest (with prizes), Scott
Vorthmann, Tom Davis, Karl Schaffer, Gwen Fisher, Andrea Hawksley,
and others.
Sponsored by Stanford PreCollegiate Studies, organized by Stan
Isaacs and Rick Sommer.
Noted for making mathematics accessible to general
audiences, Gardner was known for works from a column in
Scientific American to the classic Lewis Carroll reference The
Annotated Alice. Even those who don’t recognize his name will
be familiar with ideas he helped popularize, from the work of
M.C. Escher to flexagons and a method to determine the day of
the week on a particular date. In order to commemorate his
accomplishments and spirit, Celebrations of Mind are held all
across the globe. For more information and to find a
Celebration near you, visit www.g4gcom.org.
Please email us if
you have any questions about the SMC!
Note:
is a solution of the following problem: Draw 12 circles in a plane
so that every circle is tangent to exactly 5 others. Can you find
other solutions?
Thanks to Paul Mennen, who wrote the code to generate this
particular solution.
The Stanford Math Circle is jointly sponsored by the Stanford
PreCollegiate Studies Program and the Stanford
University Department of Mathematics.
If you have questions about the Stanford Math Circle not answered
by our FAQ, please contact
us!
