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About the Math Circle

The UCI Math Circle brings together faculty and graduate students from UCI and high school and middle school students from Orange County, in a journey to explore the beauty of mathematics, and promote mathematical creativity. If you are interested in learning some new mathematics, enjoy the challenge of a good math problem, want to enhance your problem solving capabilities and refine your logical thinking skills, please join our meetings.

In 2016-17, the UCI Math Circle will meet in two separate groups: Level 1 (basic) and Level 2 (advanced).

You will be able to select your level when you register, based on your previous mathematical experience. Don’t worry about enrolling in the wrong group the first time. After you join, the math circle leaders will be able to direct you to the level that is best for you.

In addition, we will host two mathematical competitions for the participants of the UCI Math Circle (the AMC8/10 and the Tournament of the Towns). Please see the COMPETITIONS page for more information on these two competitions and how to register.

Common Core

The curriculum developed by the UCI Math Circle aligns perfectly with the Eight Standards for Mathematical Practice outlined by the State Common Core. During our afternoon of mathematical investigations, students are engaged in hard mathematical tasks that promote abstract reasoning and critical thinking. We train students in persevering in their search for a precise mathematical answer, and encourage them to discuss solutions with their peers through logical explanations. The depth of content of our mathematical activities and the high complexity of the thinking processes required to accomplish them, make the UCI Math Circle particularly suitable for GATE children.

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Session Format

We will begin with short fun warm-up questions (such as guessing the number of matchsticks needed to create a sequence of 100 consecutive adjacent squares of side one) and follow up with a deeper mathematical investigation (e.g. What numbers can be written as the sum of three consecutive integers?). Our sessions will be very hands- on, please expect to take an active role in your learning. Typically there won't be any lectures, but rather worksheets to guide you through a mathematical exploration. Depending on the activity, we may either break the students in groups (each working at a different "station" or set of problems), or conduct the investigation as a class (as one nice cohesive group). The problems will be hard, but fun. In Level 2, we will sometimes offer mini-courses on a variety of mathematical topics.

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Getting involved

The UCI Math Circle needs your support. There are several ways parents and educators can be involved. Please visit the JOIN OUR CIRCLE page and follow the instructions for Parent and Educator Involvement. Please contact us if you would like any additional materials.

The UCI math faculty and graduate students run the program on a volunteer basis with limited resources. We really appreciate donations: all the money collected will be used to pay the graduate students who will be leading the sessions, and for snacks and supplies for the participating students. If you would like to donate, please visit the SUPPORT page for more information.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who is it for?

The Level 1 Math Circle welcomes every (middle school and high school) student who is mathematically curious, wants to discover the power of mathematical thinking. The only prerequisites are a deep interest in math and being able to do basic algebraic manipulations, at about the level of Algebra 1. The Level 1 Math circle will present a range of interesting topics for mathematical enrichment.

The Level 2 Math Circle is open to every (middle school or high school) student who enjoys the thrill of challenging mathematics and have taken (or are taking) Enhanced Math I or Math II. The Level 2 Math Circle is designed to introduce mathematically inclined students to topics typically not covered in the standard school curriculum.

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Which Level is Best For Me?

Both levels offer interesting mathematical enrichment, but Level 2 is more advanced. The most important requirement for both levels is passion and interest for mathematics. In addition, Level 1 requires the ability to do math computations at the level of MS enhanced Math 7/8 or higher. Level 2 students must have taken or be taking Enhanced Math I or Math II. You will be able to select your level when you register, based on your previous mathematical experience. Don’t worry about enrolling in the wrong group the first time. After you join, the math circle leaders will be able to direct you to the level that is best for you.

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How to apply?

Click the JOIN OUR CIRCLE tab and follow the instructions for student registration. Please print the photo release form contained in that page and ask your parent or guardian to sign it. Then bring it with you at the first meeting.

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How often do we meet?

We will meet Mondays evenings (6:30-8pm) starting on September 26. We will meet almost every week for the months of October and November. Meetings will resume at the end of January. Please check the calendar for up-to-date meeting information. Although missing an occasional meeting is not crucial to the success of the program, students are expected to attend regularly.

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Where is it located?

All meetings will take place on the UCI campus. The closest parking lots are #'s 12A, 12B, 13R..

Level 1 meetings are in the Natural Sciences II building (NS2, pictured on left below) in room 1201.

Level 2 meetings will take place in Rowland Hall (RH, pictured on right below), Room 306 (take the elevator to the third floor and go to the right when you exit the elevator)

Navigation: (printable campus map) (parking lot map). We hope to see you soon!




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