Los Angeles Math Circle

Welcome to the Math Circle

Fall quarter session 2018

We are no longer accepting applications for Fall 2018 at the moment.  More Fall 2018 info.

Continuing students in good standing a guaranteed a spot in the Fall session (need to apply by 9/1).

New students: Please start by going over our FAQs addressing the enrollment process. The next opportunity for new students to apply is Summer session 2019. Information and applications will be available on this web page in May 2019. All applicants will have to take an assessment in late May -- early June. 

For now, please feel free to use our curriculum at home. Handouts are posted weekly and are available in the "Calendar" section of the web page. Handouts from past years are available in the "Archive" section of the web page. 

What is the LA Math Circle?

Los Angeles Math Circle (LAMC) is a top-tier math circle attracting elementary, middle and high school students interested in mathematics and eager to learn. LAMC is a program of the Department of Mathematics at UCLA and over the years was supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), Mathematical Science Research Institute (MSRI),  the Boeing Employees Community Fund, Raytheon, a gift from the Glickman family, and math circle families donations.

Following the traditions of Russian and Eastern European math circles, the program focuses on showcasing the beauty of mathematics and its applications, improving problem solving skills, preparing students for a variety of contests and competitions, creating a social context for mathematically inclined students as well as attracting students to math-related careers.

Types of meetings:

  • problem-solving sessions (most of the meetings);
  • expository talks on a variety of pure and applied math  topics;
  • preparation for various competitions, such as American Mathematical Competitions, Math Kangaroo, Bay Area Math Olympiad;

The topics we cover are as varied as advanced plane geometry, elementary number theory, fractals, combinatorics, game theory for the older students, logic, counting techniques, basic combinatorics for the younger ones. The main goal is to learn wonderful mathematics not covered in a typical school curriculum but accessible to the mathematically inclined students. Another goal is to actively engage students in problem solving and to learn effective problem solving strategies. To get an idea of what we are doing, please look at the titles and descriptions of past meetings which are available on our "Circle calendar" for the current year and on our "Archive" page for previous years

Please refer to FAQs if you have questions about the proper placement (choice of group) and other questions related to math circle.

Please see our Directions page for details on how to get there.

Contact LAMC

If you have any questions or comments, please write to Dr. Olga Radko, director of the Los Angeles Math Circle, at radko@math.ucla.edu after consulting the FAQs.

If you would like to provide anonymous feedback on the circle please use "Contact us" form on the left toolbar. Keep in mind that if you want to receive an answer to your comments you need to provide a return address.

Recent News

We are excited to share that the 2nd edition of Breaking Numbers into Parts, an innovative LAMC curriculum for kindergarten and 1st grade, is now published and available on Amazon.com. As of now, Part 1 of the book is available. Part 2 is expected to be available early next year. Together, Parts 1 and 2 form a self-sucient math enrichment course for a full academic year.

                The book uses a mathematical tool called Young diagrams to teach stu­dents breaking positive integers into parts in all the possible ways.

                The book uses the developed technique to prove commutativity of addition of natural numbers in an age-appropriate fashion. The book also explains why commutativity is such a big deal, in math and in real life.

                The book introduces numbers as points on the number line.

                The book introduces the concepts of digits and numbers, odd and even numbers, variables, operations (functions) and inverse operations, all in a way accessible to advanced kindergarten and 1st grade students.

                The second edition of the book is feedback-based. It contains many teach­ing tips, additional problems, solutions to most problems, as well as quizzes. Professional illustrations serve to enhance the content.


The book is currently used by the following programs:

1               Los Angeles Math Circle, a free Sunday math school for mathematically inclined children run by UCLA Department of Mathematics;

2               CalTech Math and Science Circle;

3               WorldSpeak School, an independent language immersion and math spe­cialized elementary school on Westwood Blvd. not far from UCLA campus;

4               Creative Learning Place, an enrichment program catering to the needs of homeschooling families and charter schools, located on W. Olympic Blvd;

5               STEMM, an enrichment program specializing in math and robotics, located in Torrance.



Read our LAMC Newsletter - Spring 2018 Edition

Summer 2018 Update: LAMC's graduating seniors take flight!

Seven LAMC participants graduated from high school  and are preparing to begin the college life in the fall. Pictured below are:


Murad Avliyakulov — attended math circle for 5 years; will attend Yale
Sutton Shin — attended math circle for 7 years; will attend UC Berkeley
Edan’el Fishbein — attended math circle for 7 years; will attend UC San Diego
Don Laackman (High School II group lead instructor) — taught math circle for 6 years; graduating with PhD in math from the department this year; will be Los Angeles Site Director and Program Coordinator for Bridge to Enter Advanced Mathematics (BEAM), a nonprofit organization that works to help underserved students enter advanced study of mathematics through summer and extracurricular programs.
Cy Gilman — attended math circle for 7 years; will attend Columbia University
Mason Hendrick - attended math circle for 4 years; will attend Loyola Marymount university
Maksym Schchepetkin attended math circle for 6 years;  will attend UCLA
One of our seniors, Megan Joshi, (pictured below) could not be there for the graduation. She has been with the math circle for 6 years and will go to MIT.

Coming up next weekend:

11/18 -- Early Elementary I: Roman numerals, the final class.

We will discuss the ambiguity of Roman numerlas, will learn how to convert decimals to Roman numerals, and will learn writing dates as Roman numerals.

11/18 -- High School I: Tropical Geometry II

We will continue our study of tropical arithmetic by proving a version of the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra for tropical quadratic polynomials.

11/18 -- High School II: Hyperbolic Geometry III

We look at more peculiar hyperbolic facts, like the hyperbolic Pythagorean theorem and the angle of parallelism.