As a means of summarizing the issues discussed thus far and providing a sneak preview of others to come, here is a hypothetical to-do list for setting up a new math circle. For that matter, most items will still apply when preparing for subsequent years. No organizer will follow this schedule to the day, but it does provide a useful checklist when planning for the first meeting.
- Six months. Settle on an overall model for the math circle and identify the target audience. Partner with a local college or university, if applicable. Apply for grants or other sources of funding.
- Three months. Reserve space for conducting the math circle. Develop a web site for the math circle. Invite speakers.
- Two months. Set meeting times and dates for the year. Create a plan for publicizing the circle.
- One month. Advertise the circle. Continue to invite speakers.
- Two weeks. Continue to advertise the circle. Determine how to schedule the available meeting time.
- One week. Prepare forms and handouts. Plan the presentation for the first meeting.
- Ongoing. Invite speakers until the schedule is filled. Remind scheduled speakers of their upcoming presentations. Update the web site. Keep students informed of events. Involve parents in the life of the math circle.
Next: Organizing the Academics