What is a math circle?
A math circle is a collaborative, non-competitive enrichment program designed to increase students’ appreciation for math. In most math circles, students are led through lessons that focus on the creative and open-ended process of problem-solving. This allows students to develop a personal, positive relationship to math outside of the classroom.
Who attends the Brown University Math Circle?
The Brown Math Circle is aimed at public school students in Rhode Island. We are particularly looking for students who have an interest in math but low confidence in their skills, or who don't have much support for their interest, or who are disadvantaged/underrepresented in the math community (such as students of color, students from low socioeconomic backgrounds, and students who identify as women or other underrepresented genders).
What is the goal of the BUMC?
The goal of the BUMC is not necessarily to launch students into math careers, although of course that wouldn’t hurt. We want students to learn to love math, appreciate math, or at the very least, make peace with it. This will help them succeed in the rest of their academic career, and it will empower them for the rest of their lives.
What does a typical session look like?
Sessions are led by math professors and graduate students at Brown University. Some leaders will introduce background material before giving students exercises to work on in groups; others will jump right into group work. Most sessions will focus on one topic, such as logic or cryptography, and gradually take participants through a series of increasingly interesting problems.
How will students benefit from the BUMC?
When students enjoy doing math, they are much more likely to succeed in math classes, and in school more generally. Through similar programs, such as the Du Bois Project and the Math CEO at the University of California Irvine, students of all levels have been shown to become much stronger math students. The Brown University Math Circle aims to help students of diverse backgrounds become happier and more confident problem-solvers.
When and where does it meet?
Stay tuned for the 2019-2020 schedule, which will be posted here in mid to late August.
How can I sign up?
Email Alexandra Walsh at [email protected] with your interest. Participation is free, and students are welcome to come to as many or as few sessions as they want. Since the sessions are independent of one another, participants should feel free to come and go whenever it is convenient for their schedules. Also, there is pizza every week!