This Frequently Answered Questions page is a modestly modified version of the Berkeley Math Circle FAQ.
If you find that you have a question that is not addressed below, please send an e-mail to (preferred) or call Stephen DeBacker at 734-763-3274. We will try to respond in a reasonable amount of time.
Yes, there is a suggested voluntary contribution of $100 per semester. The sponsors of the Michigan Math Circle want to share responsibility for the Circle with those who benefit the most from its success.
For contributions: You can address the contribution to “SUMS” (Society of Undergraduate Mathematics Students), with the Note section in the bottom left filled out with “Michigan Math Circle”, the name of the student, and the specific semester (Fall or Winter). Please DO NOT address checks to Michigan Math Circle.
Checks should be brought to the first Michigan Math Circle session you attend.
The Michigan Math Circle also gladly accepts additional donations! The same above directions for submitting additional donations apply.
How do I register/apply, and when do I come to the Michigan Math Circle?
You register online. You must print out and fill out the consent and emergency forms under the link “Register” at the top of this page, bring them with you directly to the next Michigan Math Circle session, and submit them to the Michigan Math Circle assistant. You don’t need to wait for a response to the application; just come to the first Michigan Math Circle lecture you can make!
When and how will I know if I’m accepted to the Michigan Math Circle?
The Michigan Math Circle does not have selection procedures. It is open to all junior and high school students.
Can I join the Circle now? I’ve already missed several sessions.
You can join the Michigan Math Circle anytime during the school year. In general, the sessions and topics are independent of each other. Some sessions will be harder and some will be easier, depending on the instructor and the particular topic.
Am I advanced/prepared enough for the Michigan Math Circle?
No one knows until you try it out. The Michigan Math Circle participants’ ages range from 6th to 12th grade, and their preparation, depth of math knowledge, and maturity vary greatly. We try to give suitable problems and materials to everyone.
I didn’t get everything at the last session. Should I keep coming?
Yes, definitely! It often requires several years to become an experienced problem solver and to be comfortable with everything taught by the Circle. Thus, expect the first year to understand on average between 30% and 50% of everything said at the Circle, taking into account that the material covered is very advanced and non-traditional. 30% to 50% is actually quite a lot!
What kinds of sessions should I expect at the Michigan Math Circle?
Anything from an interactive session where students solve problems individually or in groups to hardcore lectures similar to undergraduate courses: it all depends on the suitability of the topics and particular teaching styles of instructors. We hope that exposure to various learning styles will season the young students to what will come up in their college careers.
How can parents get involved in helping the Michigan Math Circle?
Parents can help with various aspects of the circle, from providing refreshments during the circle breaks to helping organize parties, to helping with the overall organization or donating to the circle. For other ideas or more information on how parents can help, please see Stephen DeBacker.
How do I get to the Michigan Math Circle? Where is it, what time, etc?
The Michigan Math Circle is held on Thursday evenings at 6:30pm in East Hall on the UofM Ann Arbor campus. More specific directions may be found by following the Directions link at the top of the page.
How can I donate to the Michigan Math Circle?
Please follow the directions above. For more information, please send an email to Stephen DeBacker.
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