About Math Circles

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).

There are hundreds of Math Circles around the U.S. Check out our map to see if there’s one near you, or contact us to learn how to start your own!

The Math Circle Network

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.

Our Story & Impact

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.

Staff

Brianna Donaldson
Brianna Donaldson (PhD, Indiana University) has served as Director of Special Projects since 2008 at the American Institute of Mathematics (AIM), one of six U.S.-based math research institutes funded by the National Science Foundation. Donaldson oversees AIM’s nationwide education, workforce development, and public engagement programs, with a specific focus on increasing diversity in mathematics. Prior to the establishment of the Math Circle Network in 2020, she spent 12 years leading the development of the Math Teachers' Circle Network from 6 initial sites to more than a hundred sites in 40 states.

Brianna Donaldson

Director, Math Circle Network, and Director of Special Projects, American Institute of Mathematics

Before joining AIM in January 2024 as Associate Director of Special Projects, David Crombecque spent 11 years as a faculty in the Mathematics Department at the University of Southern California. Dr. Crombecque’s interests have focused on broadening participation in mathematics in particular for people coming from historically marginalized communities. He is one of the co-directors of the LA Math Teachers Circle and the project leader of Math On the Border. He is also a founding member of Spectra, the LGBTQ+ association of mathematicians and is currently the treasurer of the association.

David Crombecque

Associate Director of Special Projects, American Institute of Mathematics

Claudia Rodriguez-Solorio joined AIM as our Community Outreach and Program Evaluation Specialist in August 2023. She holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy Analysis from the Pardee RAND Graduate School, a Master of Science in Applied Mathematics for the Life and Social Sciences, and a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Arizona State University. Her interests include program evaluation, math education policy, development of math identity, mathematics education, mathematical and statistical modeling, as well as quantitative and qualitative research methodologies.

Claudia Rodriguez-Solorio

Community Outreach & Program Evaluation Specialist, American Institute of Mathematics

Javier Haro has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in mathematics as well as a preliminary single subject secondary mathematics teaching credential from San Francisco State University (SFSU). While teaching at SFSU, he was an instructor for the Metro Academics College Success Program, a learning community that guides and supports first-generation, low-income and/or historically underrepresented students in their academic
success. Since Fall 2020, he has served as Mathematics Resources Coordinator at AIM, where he directs the MATCH virtual classroom visit program connecting mathematicians with Title I middle schools.

Javier Haro

Director, Math MATCH, and Consultant, American Institute of Mathematics

Kelley Barnes is the program director for AIM Morgan Hill Math, a community outreach program providing math enrichment to talented math students in grades 4 through 12. Her responsibilities include identifying promising young math students, developing and coordinating math enrichment lessons, and coaching middle school mathletes to compete in competitions such as AMC8, Math Olympiad, and MATHCOUNTS. She has a BS in Biology and worked for twenty years as a registered veterinary technician before discovering an enthusiasm for teaching math.

Kelley Barnes

Director of Morgan Hill Math and Consultant, American Institute of Mathematics

Terry Busk joined the American Institute of Mathematics in mid 2017 as a logistics specialist supporting AIM's math research goals. As a former handyman and martial arts instructor, he's a multifaceted jack-of-all trades helping to manage day-to-day operations as well as web development to support both the Math Circle Network and AIM's general research goals. In 2020, he assisted in the development of the MathCommunities.org initiative and continues to support the development of new technical projects.

Terry Busk

Operations Manager, American Institute of Mathematics

Contact and Sponsorship

The Math Circle Network is a project of the American Institute of Mathematics (AIM), a mathematical sciences research institute supported by the National Science FoundationWe 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.