*“The highlight of the week for my 12 year old son and me is our Math Circle session. There is no age, no gender and no one is smarter than the other. Math Circle leaders are skilled at creating a collegial environment that fosters discovery by very subtly prompting and guiding discussions among classmates. I wish I had learned via this approach when I first learned math. As a child, my teachers gave me ready made formulas expecting me to memorize, implying I was not smart enough to understand how they were derived. So the very important questions that arose from seeing that formula - what? why? how? - never got addressed. Like magic, the formulas seemed mysterious and inscrutable. Every new formula reinforced this, and I began to fear math - I simply plugged numbers in and eventually I did not even have the basis to determine if the answer made sense or not. In math circles, there is nothing ready made. We start with axioms - simple, obvious truths - and then let ourselves flow. Since we are really just playing, there is nothing like right or wrong, just fun. And what mighty towers we end up building! The exhilaration of discovery, of seeing seemingly random pieces fit together, of clever twists... makes it a mesmerizing experience, leaving both me and my son, and actually, our entire class, wanting more. Every class ends too soon. If you want your child to be good at anything, not just math, then this is the approach to take.”*

Professor of Mathematics, University of California at Berkeley,

Former President, American Mathematical Society

In the Math Circle, the participants are presented with a knotty problem, and using their own ideas, they work their way through it to a solution. Along the way, they may very well need to define new concepts, invent new terminology, and create new algorithms. The process can take weeks or even months of effort, multiple revisions, and a lot of trial and error, but this is a critical part of the process. Indeed, it is often in making errors and then recognizing them as such that true progress is made. Above all, it is a group effort, with each participant’s ideas welcomed. The group is a circle, not a hierarchy, and the dynamics are cooperative, not competitive. The Math Circle gives kids the opportunity to take ownership of their learning in a way that they seldom encounter in other classes and activities. It is remarkably empowering."

whichever way they wish, and to solve it in whichever way they wish, rather than following a method taught from a book."

Book Acquisitions Editor, The Mathematical Association of America

Mathematical Association of America’s MAA Reviews, Former Editor