Math Circles

Fun for the Whole Family with a Hint of Russian Academic Traditions

Summer is long over and watching the fall colours from the window of your home is getting more appealing each day, especially if it is rainy or foggy. You spend most of your time sitting at your desk at school and then you come home and sit in front of your computer. “But I can no longer play soccer with my friends in the rain and it is too windy for badminton..”, you might say. Well, don’t let the weather limit your interactions with peers. Trade the physical sports for the mental ones this fall! Math Circles at the Fields Institute is the perfect place to start. This is what you will see when you arrive. You will meet amazing educators whose expertise has helped hundreds of students develop their logical and mathematical skills. You will be placed either in the group for beginners or for experienced problem solvers and will be presented with fun, puzzle-like mathematical challenges that are bound to spark an intellectually stimulating discussion in your group. You may attempt to solve them on your own, or with your peers. Good news! You don’t need to remember any formulas to solve those problems! If you will require a formula – it will be given to you! The main objective is to explore the capabilities of your own mind.

The tradition of Math Circles started back in the 1950’s in Moscow as a way to uphold the high level of interest in mathematics in gifted students and to prepare them for mathematical competitions. Similar academic formations soon appeared all over the former USSR and proved to be a very effective. They were successful mainly due to the involvement of major figures of the Moscow math community who served as academic and social role models for the students. With the wave of immigration to North America, the concept of math circles found home in Canada and U.S.

The staff of the Math Circles at the Fields Institute is very friendly and all the sessions are held in a highly informal atmosphere on Saturday afternoons. Feel free to bring your parents along! Who knows, maybe they might find puzzling over the problems fun, or engage them in education-related conversations, which always turns out to be an interesting discussion.

More information on Math Circles can be found on our Community page.