The Cambridge Math Circle (CMC) is a 501(c)3 registered nonprofit. CMC was established in 2018 by math and physics PhD's (Mira Bernstein and Nataliya Yufa) with a combined 40 years of teaching experience at K-12, undergraduate and graduate levels, to give elementary and middle school students in Cambridge and surrounding towns a chance to experience deep, fascinating math and meet others who like solving puzzles and stretching their minds.
CMC aims to serve all students, with a special focus on those who are traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields.
What We Do
The mission of The Cambridge Math Circle is to provide math enrichment to K-8 students, with a focus on the children of Cambridge from groups underrepresented in STEM: girls, Black and Latinx children, and those from low-income families. Our goal is to encourage students to enjoy solving challenging problems, and to be able to go into STEM-related careers when they get older. Our near-peer teachers, as well as guest instructors from different STEM fields, serve as role models to our students.
As of Spring 2023, CMC leads classes online (Beast Academy and Art of Problem Solving), and in-person classes at our community venue (Harvard University) and in a number of Cambridge Public Schools. Students from other towns are welcome to join our online and community classes. For more information, see our classes page.
Our Beast Academy/Art of Problem Solving classes run in groups of 2-6 students, led by a highly knowledgeable math instructor on Zoom. Students have an ice-breaker, a warm-up problem to review what they learned last week, and then read a comic book textbook or go through an AoPS lesson as a group, solving problems individually and then sharing their solutions. If there's time at the end, classes end with a quick math-related game. The goal of these classes is to strengthen students' mental math, deepen their understanding of key topics in school mathematics (both for prior years and future years), and learn to solve problems that are a bit different and require effort, as each problem is a bit different from the one before, and problems and chapters build in difficulty.
Our Math Circle classes complement the school curriculum - here students learn what it's like to think like a mathematician, a logician, a scientist, or an engineer. Students explore areas of math that are normally not part of the school curriculum until a college major in STEM: combinatorics, graph theory, logic and topology, to name a few. Classes consist of a building activity, followed by the main problem-solving session, followed by games.