Math Circle at FAU


Welcome to the home page of the Math Circle for middle school students at FAU! The main purpose of the circle is to have fun with mathematics, while learning something in the process. We will be solving problems, having friendly competitions, playing mathematical games. Links to information about past sessions, as well as other information, can be found on the navigation panel on the left.

To keep this circle as useful as possible, it is important to have feedback from participants and parents and teachers of participants. Don't be shy, let us know what you think. What can we do to improve it? An occasional word of praise will keep us going strong, but constructive criticism can be more important.

The Sessions

The way we will organize the sessions is as follows. In each meeting there will be a few warm up questions, a few logical problems (logic is most important in mathematics!), and then the main part. In the main part we will try first to develop some mathematical concepts, then illustrate with problems that will be both challenging and fun to solve. Even when the main concepts of the day are not geometrical, there will be a few geometry problems. We will be distributing a package with all the questions and problems written out at the beginning of the session. We would like the students to keep the handout together with their work in a loose leaf binder so as to be able to refer to this material later on. After each session, we will post the questions and the answers that were obtained during the session online, and place a link in the navigation panel at the left. We hope students missing a session or two will look at the posted material and work through it, so that we can keep on building as we move along.

It is important to emphasize that a Math Circle is not a class, or a lecture, or a talk. We would like students to form groups of two or three and work together. It is better if parents/teachers sit in the back and let the students work on their own. Some problems may be a bit too difficult for some students, we have kids of varying ages and varying scholarly backgrounds; you shouldn't be discouraged if things are too difficult. You'll catch up. We hope however there will be something for everyone. Otherwise there are no fixed rules. Students can get up, walk about, write on the whiteboards (we provide markers).

Time permitting, the first student or group of students getting a correct answer to a problem will be invited to write the solution on one of the whiteboards. We'll take a picture of the solution and post it on the website. Problems that do not get done by the end of a session are left as homework; at the beginning of each session we will briefly see how students did on the homework. There are, of course, no grades , and no pressure. Source of the Problems As usual, the majority of problems will come from very diverse sources, old AMC 8 competitions, the Moscow Math Circle Problem book, historical sources (for example Fibonacci's Liber Abaci), etc. A few will be made up by us. Sources will not always be credited, but will be revealed upon request.

All sessions will be held either in PS 109 or in PS 111, 2:30 to 4 PM on the following Saturdays.


Saturday September 12

Saturday September 26

Saturday October 3

Saturday October 24

Saturday November 7

Saturday December 5

Important Additional Date: On Saturday November 21 we will be holding the AMC 8 competition. On this day, in addition to the competition itself, we have other competitions with prizes. The exact time and place is still to be announced.


Saturday January 23

Saturday February 6

Saturday February 20

Saturday March 19

Saturday April 2

Saturday April 16

Contact Information Please address your questions or suggestions to:

Professor Tomas Schonbek

Department of Mathematical Sciences

Florida Atlantic University

Boca Raton, FL 33431


The organizers

Apart from Professor Schonbek, the Math Circle at FAU would not be able to function without the help of the following people who are generously giving of their time and efforts. In strict alphabetical order of their last names, they are:

Ms. Emily Cimillo

Dr. Ana Escuder

Dr. Lee Klingler, whose idea it was to start the circle.

Dr. Yuandan Lin

Dr. Yuan Wang