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Math Circle

Academics / Departments & Programs / Mathematics & Statistics / Math Circle

The Calvin University Math Circle is an opportunity for 6th–8th grade students (typically 11–13 years old) to engage with exciting problems and topics in mathematics. Meetings are led by a professor in the Calvin math department and typically begin with a warmup activity or game that leads into the day's problem or topic. The Math Circle seeks to generate enthusiasm for problem-solving in mathematics. Students also discover applications of mathematics and participate in a community that nurtures critical thinking, communication, and abstraction. If you have questions about whether Math Circle may be right for your student, please call or send email!

Time & Location

We meet at Calvin University in North Hall 276 on Tuesday afternoons. For Fall 2021 we will meet from September 28 through November 16 (eight sessions). Parking is available in Lot 5 (west of the engineering building) and Lot 6 (west of the aquatic center).

  • 3:45–4:00 p.m.: setup and arrival
  • 4:00–5:15 p.m.: main activity
  • 5:15pm: dismissal

Cost & Application

  • Updated September 9, 2021:  We have reached capacity for our Fall 2021 semester.  If you like to be on our list for announcements regarding future semesters, please send email to mdb7@calvin.edu. 
  • Updated August 16, 2021:  In light of last week's university-wide announcement about vaccinations and masking, we have learned that Math Circle can continue as planned with the requirement that we all wear masks.  We will keep this page updated in case of further changes.
  • Updated June 28, 2021:  We are excited by the possibility of starting Math Circle again in Fall 2021!  Please know that meetings this semester will be on Tuesdays (and not Mondays).  We are planning to meet as we did in past semesters (pre-COVID) but we will adhere to guidance from MDHHS and CDC as may be needed.  Be well! 
  • Tuition is $80 per semester
  • Registration is via Eventbrite (space limited to 16 students)
  • At the first meeting please bring a signed copy of the consent form

Calendar (Fall 2021)​

DAY TIME ROOM TOPIC PRESENTER
Tuesday, September 28 4:00–5:15 p.m. NORTH HALL 276 TBA TBA                  
Tuesday, October 5 4:00–5:15 p.m. NORTH HALL 276 TBA TBA
Tuesday, October 12 4:00–5:15 p.m. NORTH HALL 276 TBA TBA 
Tuesday, October 19 4:00–5:15 p.m. NORTH HALL 276 TBA TBA 
Tuesday, October 26 4:00–5:15 p.m. NORTH HALL 276 TBA TBA
Tuesday, November 2 4:00–5:15 p.m. NORTH HALL 276 TBA TBA 
Tuesday, November 9 4:00–5:15 p.m. NORTH HALL 276 TBA
Tuesday, November 16 4:00–5:15 p.m. NORTH HALL 276 TBA                         

Calendar (Winter 2020)

DAY TIME ROOM TOPIC PRESENTER
Monday, February 3 4:00–5:15 p.m. NORTH HALL 276 Frogs and Toads Prof. Mike Bolt
Monday, February 10 4:00–5:15 p.m. NORTH HALL 276 Amida-Kuji Prof. Jan Koop
Monday, February 17 4:00–5:15 p.m. NORTH HALL 276 Josephus Problem Prof. Mike Bolt
Monday, Ferbuary 24 4:00–5:15 p.m. NORTH HALL 276 Folding Shapes Prof. Jan Koop
Monday, March 2 4:00–5:15 p.m. NORTH HALL 276 Pennies & Paperclips Prof. Mike Bolt
Monday, March 9 4:00–5:15 p.m. NORTH HALL 276 Squares and More Squares Prof. Jan Koop
Monday, March 16 4:00–5:15 p.m. NORTH HALL 276 *canceled due to pandemic*
Monday, March 23 4:00–5:15 p.m. NORTH HALL 276 *canceled due to pandemic*

Additional Info

The Math Circle is an enrichment activity that explores topics generally outside the regular mathematics curriculum.  It is for 6th-8th grade students (typically 11-13 years old) who are interested in problem-solving and applications.

Program directors are Professors Mike Bolt (mdb7@calvin.edu) and Jan Koop (kooj@calvin.edu).

The Calvin University Math Circle was formed in Fall 2017 and is supported by the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, the Office of the Provost, and the Office of Pre-College Programs.

Math Circles originated in Russia in the 1930s, appeared in the United States in the 1990s, and are promoted by the National Association of Math Circles.  Nearby circles include the Michigan Math Circle (Ann Arbor, MI) and the Maize & Blue Math Circle (Dearborn, MI).  

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