Stanford Math Circle

Stanford University Stanford Math Circle

Stanford Math Circle

SMC Elementary

The Stanford Math Circle Elementary program meets on Thursdays throughout the Stanford academic year. Space is limited, and we regret that only registered students may attend.


SMC Elementary I (grades 1 and 2) Lessons - Fall 2011

Sample handouts from some lessons of 2012 are available from the following links. The session handouts were for use by circle members, and we are not able to respond to queries about them.

Lesson 2 Lesson 3 Lessons 4 and 5

SMC Elementary II (grades 3 and 4) Lessons - Fall 2011

Handouts for some lessons are available from the following links. The session handouts are for use by circle members, please don't email us with questions about them.

Lesson 2 Lesson 3 Lessons 4 and 5

About the SMC Elementary program

The SMC Elementary program is aimed at mathematically motivated students in grades 1-4. The main objective of this class is to introduce young children to the elements of mathematical culture and ideas using age-appropriate activities.

The teaching methods will vary depending on the mathematical content of the lesson, and may include demonstration of experiments, storytelling, guided discussions, independent work, teamwork, hands-on activities, and handouts. Here is a sample handout from the Spring 2011 sessions.

The fee for participation in the SMC in 2015-2016 is $275 per academic quarter. This fee will generate funding for session leaders, website maintenance, administrative costs, and use of the Stanford University facilities. Please note that financial aid is available and that we will not exclude students due to financial hardship, so please let us know if the fee would cause financial difficulty for your family.

Course Logistics and reminders

  • We must remember that we are visitors on a college campus and that University staff, faculty and students may be working or attending classes nearby. We must try to minimize noise and obstructions inside University buildings, so we ask that students and families not wait in the hallways outside a classroom more than 5 minutes before class.
  • Traffic around this time of day can be difficult, and we'd rather you come late than not at all -- but I'd still strongly recommend that you come on time. If a student misses the first five or ten minutes of the main topic, it can be hard to jump into what is going on. And late arrivals can be disruptive to other students, too.
  • The instructors can't allow siblings to sit in on class, and limit the number of parents in class to two [arranged in advance, see the instructor's welcome message for additional details] -- the space doesn't permit more, and, again, they need to keep everyone focused and working and avoid distractions.
  • Instructors can only speak to parents before or after class, not during.
  • Each child should bring a notebook with graph paper (not lined),dedicated to the Math Circle, small pencil case with a few pencils, markers or colored pencils, an eraser, a glue stick, and scissors with rounded edges. The instructors will have a few extra supplies on hand if someone forgets. All other needed materials will be provided.
  • Math circle homework is an essential part of the class. It is important to spend some time with your child discussing what was done in class and spending (not necessarily solving) time working on the homework problems.

Meet the Staff of the SMC Elementary

Laura Givental, Ilya Zakharevich, Michael Brinn, and Elena Blanter, all of the Berkeley Math Circle Elementary instructors, will be leading these courses at Stanford in 2012-2013.
Laura GiventalA resident of the East Bay, Laura Givental graduated from a math and physics high school, obtained her B.A. and Masters Degrees in applied mathematics at the Moscow school "Kerosinka". She has been working, first in Russia and then in the US, as a software engineer and consultant.

Ilya ZakharevichIlya Zakharevich teaches on and off from 1981. He received his PhD in mathematics 1990 in Moscow. He moved to US in 1990 and to Berkeley in 2001. His research interests in mathematics are integrable systems and analysis.

Elena Blanter Elena Blanter, a Berkeley resident, received her M.A. in Mathematics from the St. Petersburg University in Russia and has teaching credentials from the same school. Elena's many years of experience include mathematical risk modeling, statistical analysis, and development of financial analytical software.