Prime Factor Math Circle and School of Programming


Math Circle Resources

We would like to share some of the valuable resources we have found over the years of teaching our math circles.

Internet Resources
Prime Factor Materials

Internet Resources

  • National Association of Mathematical Circles site contains an extensive and frequently updated collection of mathematical circles lessons and problems. The site also offers information on administrative and organizational aspects of running a circle. (Most of it comes from the “Circle in a Box” book by Sam Vandervelde.) In addition, you can find a comprehensive list of existing math circles and their web sites.

  • Berkeley Math Circle archives.

  • Los Angeles Math Circle archives.

  • Art of Inquiry - materials from a math and reasoning circle in Rockville, MD.

  • Mathematical Circles Topics  - a site of a mathematician and math circles enthusiast Tom Davis that contains multiple topic-by-topic handouts with lectures and problems.

Books and Publications

A lot of great books on the topic have already been published by AMS (American Mathematical Society) and MSRI (Mathematical Sciences Research Institute) in their "Mathematical Circles Library" series, and more books are to come.
  • For grades 9 and above:

    "A Decade of the Berkley Math Circle" by Zvezdelina Stankova, and "Moscow Mathematical Olympiads" by Ivan Yashchenko et al. Stankova's book contains both theoretical presentations and problem sets on a variety of topics. "Moscow Math Olympiads" contains problems sets and solutions.
  • For grades 7-9:

    "Math Circle Day-to-Day" by Ivan Dorichenko. This book is a collection of day-by-day sets of problems from a Moscow Math Circle.
  • For grades 6-9:

    "Mathematical Circles (Russian Experience)" by Genkin, Fomin, Itenberg. This excellent book contains a great collection of materials in all the main areas of "extracurricular mathematics." Each topic comes with theoretical explanations, methodological remarks for teachers, and collections of problems. This book is our favorite. Some "lighter" topics in the book, such as Construction Problems, Pigeonhole principle, and Strategic Games, can be used for teaching in a younger-grade circle. Others, like Induction and Advanced Divisibility, can be taught in a circle with older students.
  • For Grades 5-7:

    "A First Year of Mathematical Circle" by Anna Burago contains a complete week-by-week collection of math circle materials. The materials include lectures to be presented in class, sets of problems to work on, and the contests, games and tournaments to play with the students. The book is to be published by AMS in 2013. The book is based on the Prime Factor curriculum.
  • For younger students:

    " Math from Three to Seven: The Story of a Mathematical Circle for Preschoolers" by Alexander Zvonkin. This captivating book is a detailed journal of a professional mathematician leading a math circle for preschoolers in his apartment in Moscow in the 1980s. The book is both informational and inspirational. The majority of the topics introduced in the book can be used in early-elementary math circles. The book inspires the reader to rethink the traditional assumptions about math topics that can be taught to younger children. It also offer new and effective approaches to present these topics.

Another great publisher of books that can be used in mathematical circles is the Art of Problem Solving. Check their web site for the full selection.

Also, archives of the Math Kangaroo competition can serve as a good source of interesting and creative problems.

Prime Factor Math Circles resources

Our "Archives" section contains our curriculum and some of our problem sets. We would also like to recommend that you check the games and tournaments section of this web site.

Prime Factor Math Circle is a nonprofit organization. The goal of Prime Factor is to engage school children in the world of extracurricular mathematics with the purpose of developing their math knowledge, problem solving skills and creative thinking abilities. We have a lot of plans and ideas how to grow and expand. We welcome donations and we will put them to a good use.