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By Sam Vandervelde

Math circles offer a environment within which mathematicians paintings with secondary college scholars who're drawn to arithmetic. this way of outreach, which has existed for many years in Russia, Bulgaria, and different nations, is now swiftly spreading around the usa besides. the 1st a part of this booklet deals priceless recommendation on all facets of math circle operations, culled from conversations with over a dozen administrators of winning math circles. themes comprise artistic ability for purchasing the be aware out to scholars, sound ideas for choosing powerful audio system, directions for securing monetary help, and suggestions for designing a thrilling math circle consultation. the aim of this dialogue is to permit math circle coordinators to set up a thriving crew during which scholars can event the satisfaction of mathematical research. the second one a part of the ebook outlines ten self sustaining math circle periods, masking numerous subject matters and hassle degrees. each one bankruptcy comprises specific presentation notes besides an invaluable selection of difficulties and strategies. This publication may be an essential source for anybody concerned with a math circle or someone who wish to see one start in his or her neighborhood. Sam Vandervelde teaches at St. Lawrence collage. He introduced the Stanford Math Circle and in addition writes and coordinates the Mandelbrot festival, a math contest for prime faculties.

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Extra resources for Circle in a Box

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The more clearly this person understands their responsibilities, the more smoothly the task will be handled. The goal is to anticipate and communicate possible eventualities so thoroughly that the organizer no longer needs to devote any attention to the matter. Finally, don’t forget to express sincere appreciation at the end of the semester or year for the snack marshal’s contribution to the math circle effort. A small gift is entirely appropriate and strengthens the bond with the community. There is a fine line between masterfully delegating chores and unloading legitimate responsibilities, determined primarily by the extent to which the task is essential to the operation of the math circle.

2. EMBRACING TECHNOLOGY 35 Links. A page of hyperlinks to related sites is practically de rigueur for any serious web site. Include links to other math circles, favorite math sites, other local mathematical events or organizations, sponsors, or anything else that seems appropriate. And while on the subject of links, it is worth mentioning that savvy webmasters arrange for links pointing in the other direction as well. In other words, a web site is only as effective as it is accessible. Search engines help out a lot in this regard, but it is still worthwhile to contact the administrators who maintain sites for schools in the area to ask whether it would be possible to include a link to the math circle (along with a brief description) in a place where students are likely to come across it.

Another effective strategy is to involve students in endeavors that span the course of several weeks or an entire semester. For example, at the first meeting students could be given a “Math Circle Challenge” consisting of a sheet of problems of varying levels of difficulty. The first ten minutes of each session could be devoted to presenting solutions, with the promise that a prize for the entire group would be awarded on the final meeting of the semester commensurate with their collective progress.

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