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Math Circle is a group that meets regularly with the aim of helping high school students practice and develop competition math skills. Weekly meetings occur on campus from January to April of each school year. Students attend lectures on various mathematical topics given by UBC’s excellent faculty and then work on competition-level problem sets.

To learn about the history of Math Circle, click here to visit its page on the UBC Math Department’s outreach website. The Math Circle meetings are currently organized by Professor Dragos Ghioca and student volunteers at UBC.

Math Circle 2024 will meet each Monday from 5-7 PM (PT) starting Jan 22 (except during spring break and statutory holidays). Each problem set of 2024 will consist of 3 problems.

2024 SCHEDULE

Mathematical Methods behind Stunning Symmetries
Prof. Stephanie van Willigenburg
Problem Set 10 (sol)
Types of Wallpaper (Handout)

Exploring the World of Modular Forms
Prof. Nahid Walji
Problem Set 9 (sol)

Classification in Mathematics
Prof. Jim Bryan
Problem Set 8 (sol)

Models of Arithmetic
Prof. David Gilbert
Problem Set 7 (sol)

Ruler and compass constructions
Prof. Lior Silberman
Problem Set 6 is provided by speaker.

Numbers—are they normal?
Prof. Malabika Pramanik

Problem Set 5 (sol)

Planar Graphs, The Euler Characteristic and 2-manifolds
W. Sebastian Gant (UBC PhD candidate)

Problem Set 4 (sol)

Combinatorics of polytopes
Prof. Kalle Karu
Problem Set 2 (sol)

Unlikely intersections in number theory
Prof. Dragos Ghioca
Problem Set 1
(sol)

 

PREVIOUS PROBLEM SETS

2023

Arithmetic properties for linear recurrence sequences
Prof. Dragos Ghioca
Problem Set 1 (sol)

Modeling self-organization and collective migration of biological cells
Prof. James Feng

Problem Set 2 (sol)
Lecture Slides

Poincaré’s index theorem and Euler characteristics on surface
Benjamin Friedman (UBC grad student)
Problem Set 3 (sol)

Doubling the Cube
Prof. Ben Williams
Problem Set 4 (sol)

A colourful road from Russian poetry to ChatGPT
Come prepared to play games, make surprising connections, and wrestle with a problem that looks easy but isn’t!
Sophie MacDonald (UBC PhD candidate)
Problem Set 5 (sol)

Dynamical systems and their applications in biology
Prof. Leah Edelstein-Keshet
Problem Set 6 (sol)

Rational Tangles
Severin Schraven (UBC Postdoc)
Problem Set 7 (sol)

Points and distances—what do we really know about them?
This is a virtual talk. The Zoom link can be found in the email.
Prof. Malabika Pramanik
Problem Set 8 (sol)

Algebraic methods in combinatorics
Kyle Yip (UBC PhD candidate)

List of Math Circle (2023) volunteers:
Young Lin (Lead), Kevin Liu, Oakley Edens, Sushrut Tadwalkar, Neo Huang, Yuqi Xiao, Justin Wan, Arvin Sahami, Joanna Weng, Jenny Zhu, Aaron Wei.

2022

Diophantine Approximation
Prof. Dragos Ghioca
Problem Set 1 (sol)

Lattices in the Complex Plane
Taeuk Nam (Harvard PhD student)
Problem Set 2 (sol)

Polynomial Interpolation
Prof. Colin B. Macdonald
Problem Set 3 (sol)

Some examples where cleverness makes things so much easier
Prof. Richard P. Anstee
Problem Set 4 (sol)

Classification in Mathematics
Prof. Jim Bryan
Problem Set 5 (sol)

Combinatorial Nullstellensatz
Shamil Asgarli (UBC Postdoc)
Problem Set 6 (sol)
Proof of Combinatorial Nullstellensatz

Modelling the Pandemic
Prof. Daniel Coombs
Problem Set 7 (sol)

The Probabilistic Method
Prof. Omer Angel
Problem Set 8 (sol)

Philosophy of Mathematics
Prof. David Gilbert
Problem Set 9 (sol)
The solution to problem 3 is given by Navid Safaei.

Reflection Symmetry
Prof. Stephanie van Willigenburg
Types of Wallpaper (Handout)
Lecture Slides

List of Math Circle (2022) volunteers:
Victor Wang, Josh Gomes, Young Lin, Joanna Weng, Yuqi Xiao, Arvin Sahami, Oakley Edens, and Neo Huang.

2021

Irreducibility criteria for polynomials
Prof. Dragos Ghioca
Problem Set 1 (sol)

The quest of the perfect square
Prof. Richard Anstee
Problem Set 2 (sol)

Projective geometry
Prof. Julia Gordon
Problem Set 3 (sol)

Modeling the SARS-Cov-2 epidemic in BC and elsewhere
Prof. Daniel Coombs
Problem Set 5 (sol)

Weighted chromatic symmetric functions
Victor Wang
Problem Set 6

Ruler and compass constructions: duplicating the cube, trisecting the angle, and squaring the circle
Prof. Lior Silberman

Problem Set 7

Rigidity
Ethan White
Problem Set 8

Recurrence relations
Prof. Elina Robeva
Problem Set 9

Prof. Will Evans
Problem Set 10

List of Math Circle (2021) volunteers:
Henry Xia and Victor Wang.

2020

Problem Set 1 (Geometry)
Problem Set 2 (Probability)
Problem Set 3 (Lattice Points)
Problem Set 4 (Graphs)
Problem Set 5 (Games)
Problem Set 6 (Number Theory)
Problem Set 7 (Pigeonhole Principle)
Problem Set 8 (Topology)