Q: What do the names of the different programs within the Math Circles of Chicago mean?
A: Our programs are named after prominent mathematicians.

  • Haynes: Virtually all 5th and 6th graders should sign up for this level. You might have studied some Algebra (the new national math standards mention “Algebraic Thinking” from 1st grade on), but they are unlikely to have had a full high school level course by this time.
  • Brahmagupta: We’d like all 7th graders and many 8th graders to sign up for Brahmagupta.
  • Cantor: This program is meant for 9th and 10th graders enrolled in Algebra 1 or Geometry, and 8th graders that have completed or are enrolled in a high school level Algebra 1 course.
  • Kovalevsky: Students in high school who have completed a high school geometry course should enroll in Kovalevsky.
  • Euler: You should sign up for Euler if you’ve been in Euler before or if you have completed two years in Kovalevsky. If you haven’t participated before and are interested, and you haven’t completed two years of Kovalevsky, write an email to info@mathcirclesofchicago.org and tell us about yourself.

Q: My 5th grade student is taking 7th grade math. Can she/he enroll in Brahmagupta?
A: Our sessions are designed to challenge all students, especially advanced ones; many (though not all) of the students in our 5th/6th grade group, Haynes, are already taking math well beyond the standard fifth grade curriculum. Students should start in the class appropriate to their grade in school. If your child feels like the first sessions really aren’t providing them with the challenge they want, we can discuss moving up at that time. If you are new to Math Circles, choose the standard age group suggested above.

Q: My 3rd or 4th grade student really loves math. Can she/he enroll in Math Circle?
A: In general, no. Demand for our middle school sessions is so high that it seems unfair to turn away middle schoolers who want to participate to make room for younger students who will have the option to enroll later. If your student has completed a high school level Algebra course and would be eligible for our Kovalevsky or Euler sessions, please contact us directly at info@mathcirclesofchicago.org to discuss her/his situation individually.

Q: If I attended last quarter, am I guaranteed a spot in the next quarter?
A: Generally, yes. You do need to have good attendance (no more than two absences in a quarter), and you are only guaranteed a spot at the same location.

Q: I have more than one child in math circles. Can I put them under the same username? 
A: No. You’ll need to create a separate account for each child. The usernames must be different email addresses.

Q: Do you have a summer program?
A: We did in 2017, and we are seeking funding for 2018. We anticipate holding week-long middle school camps. Our colleagues at the Young Scholar’s Program at the University of Chicago also have a summer program for 7th to 12th graders. We collaborate with UChicago YSP during the school year, but their summer session is not part of Math Circles (although we still recommend it!)

Q: Why don’t math circles meet every week?
A: Two reasons. First, we have a limited teacher capacity. Many of our instructors also teach in public schools, and their preference is that we meet every other week so that math circles is manageable. Second, we have limited funding!