Math Circles are communities focused on the enjoyment of mathematical problem solving. Meetings are lively, interactive, and often “funstrating”: challenging, but in a highly rewarding way!
Math Circles can take many forms, including after-school programs for students (Math Student Circles), professional learning communities for teachers and mathematicians (Math Teacher Circles), or groups of parents or families who want to become more involved with mathematics education (Family Math Circles).
The mission of the Math Circle Network, a project of the American Institute of Mathematics, is to build, connect, and support local communities focused on the enjoyment of mathematics.
We believe that Math Circles have an important role to play in increasing equitable access to joyful, rigorous, and relevant mathematics. We also see Math Circles as powerful bridges among K-12 schools, higher education institutions, out-of-school programs, and families.
Our network provides free resources for all U.S.-based Math Circles, with a special focus on supporting Math Circles that reach underrepresented or underserved students and their teachers. Our vision is for every student and teacher in the United States to have access to a Math Circle.
Math Student Circles first came to the U.S. in the mid-1990s. This model of math enrichment, in which students meet regularly with mathematics professionals to engage in problem solving, originated in Eastern Europe more than 100 years ago. The first Math Student Circles in the U.S. originated in Boston in 1994 and in the San Francisco Bay Area (Berkeley and San Jose) in 1998. Since their beginnings as primarily competition-focused programs, Math Student Circles in the U.S. have grown into a popular form of mathematics enrichment for students at all grade levels. Many are run as after-school programs serving students from socioeconomically disadvantaged schools. Read more about Math Student Circles…
Math Teacher Circles were developed by a group of teachers and mathematicians in the San Francisco Bay Area in the early 2000s. The first Math Teacher Circle was founded in 2006 at the American Institute of Mathematics (AIM), one of six mathematics research institutes funded by the National Science Foundation. A growing body of research suggests that Math Teacher Circles:
Math Teacher Circles are recognized as a high-quality form of professional learning by the Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences and as a “bright spot” in promoting teacher voice by the STEM Network 100Kin10. Read more about Math Teacher Circles…
Having hosted the Math Teachers’ Circle Network since 2006, in 2020 AIM became the host of the National Association of Math (Student) Circles, an organization founded by the NSF-supported Simons Laufer Mathematical Sciences Institute (SLMath). In order to better support the Math Circle community and foster connections among Math Circles for students and teachers, AIM founded the Math Circle Network in 2021.
The Math Circle Network is a project of the American Institute of Mathematics (AIM), a mathematical sciences research institute supported by the National Science Foundation. We are part of AIM’s Math Communities initiative, which brings together multiple K-12 outreach programs.
The Math Circle Network may be reached via email, or through contacting AIM’s main office: Caltech 8-32, 1200 E California Blvd, Pasadena CA 91125, phone: 626-395-8522.
AIM is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization (tax identification number 94-3205114) under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Please contact us if you are interested in becoming a supporter of the Math Circle Network.