The first gathering of the District of Columbia Math Circle took place on the afternoon of Sept. 24, 2007, at the MAA's Carriage House. This inaugural session brought together nine talented eighth-graders, drawn from Washington's public and charter schools.
Recent studies suggest that students' attitudes about their own abilities often hold them back from doing well in mathematics. Each week at the DC Math Circle, students will take part in 90 minutes of activities that promote mathematical understanding and demonstrate that doing mathematics can be exciting. They will experiment, conjecture, argue, persuade, prove, and generalize. They will play with mathematical ideas. There will be no testing, grading, or homework.
The students in the D.C. Math Circle will, however, participate in the AMC 8 competition, and they will be encouraged to be leaders in their schools' math clubs, MathCounts teams, and other enrichment activities. But the Circle will not concentrate on training for contests. In fact, competition will be de-emphasized in order to let students gain confidence and maturity with mathematics without fear, favor, or intimidation.
The DC Math Circle's director is Daniel Ullman of George Washington University. He is assisted by the MAA's Kathy DeAngelo. Additional information about participating in the DC Math Circle is available at home.gwu.edu/~dullman/dcmc.