faq
What are Colorado Math Circle meetings like?
They vary. Often a speaker will give a math talk on a specific topic. Past Euler Group topics have included generating functions, cyclotomic polynomials, dynamical systems, synchronization, graph theory, computability theory, knot theory, and olympiad inequalities. Past Galois Group topics have included parity, golden ratio, Pascal's triangle, Catalan numbers, recursion, and knot theory. At most meetings we have time for group problem solving. The problems may require a numerical answer or may require a proof. (The word "proof" sounds intimidating but it just means you need to show that something is true.) During problem solving sessions, students are free to collaborate with other students. We encourage students to present solutions at the board. This is an excellent way to practice explaining mathematics to others.
Where do math circle meetings take place?
All meetings take place at the University of Colorado at Boulder campus. (See directions.) We are fortunate to be supported by the Department of Applied Mathematics and the Department of Mathematics of CU-Boulder, and the Rocky Mountain Section of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA). Donations to the math circle are welcome.
When do math circle meetings take place?
We usually meet on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. (See calendar.) When scheduling meetings, we try to avoid CU Buffs football games, SAT test dates, and MATHCOUNTS competition dates.
How do you pronounce "Euler" and "Galois"?
"Oiler" and "Gal-wah". Leonhard Euler (1707–1783) and Évariste Galois (1811–1832) were mathematicians.
What is the difference between Euler Group and Galois Group?
Euler Group meetings are for high school students currently in grades 9 to 12. Galois Group meetings are for middle school students currently in grades 6 to 8.
I am a 6th grader taking high school geometry. May I attend Euler Group meetings?
No. Sixth graders should attend Galois Group meetings, which are designed to challenge the most advanced middle school students.
I am a 3rd grader taking 8th grade math. May I attend Galois Group meetings?
No. Please wait until you are in sixth grade.
How does the math you cover differ from school math?
We tend to cover advanced topics that most students have never seen before. The problems we work on are harder than the math problems you do in school. You may come to a meeting and discover that you don't understand half of what is discussed. You may find that you cannot solve any of the problems. This is quite common, even for students who are several years ahead of their grade level in math. We do not expect students to understand all the material. We do not expect students to be able to solve all the problems. We hope that even if the material is difficult, you will find it intriguing enough, you'll want to learn more.
I'm interested in attending a math circle meeting. Do I need to sign up in advance?
No, advance registration is not necessary. You may attend any meeting without signing up (if you meet the grade level requirement). If you would like to receive email announcements about our meetings, however, you should complete this registration form.
Will attending math circle meetings help me win math contests?
The math circle uses contest problems as a fun way to learn more math. We are pleased when our students excel at contests (which many of them do) but helping students to win math contests is not our primary objective. When we train for the ARML competition each year, for example, we aim for the best results possible (of course) but the main goals are to learn more math and to work well as a team.
May parents and teachers attend math circle meetings?
Yes, adults are welcome. We ask that they sit near the back of the room so that students can sit in the front.
What is ARML?
See our Colorado ARML web page and FAQ. We will be participating in both rounds of the ARML Power Contest, an essay-type team competition.
Where can I get more information about the American Mathematics Competitions?
Visit the AMC website. We will be hosting the AMC 8 in November and the AMC 10/12 exams on both the A and B dates in February.
Why do you host a linguistics olympiad? What does it have to do with math?
The North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad (NACLO) problems require the same analytical reasoning that math problems do. Our students find the problems fun and challenging.