Striking the Right Chord: Math Circles Promote (Joyous) Professional Growth

  • Lance Bryant
  • Sarah BryantEmail author
  • Diana White
Part of the Association for Women in Mathematics Series book series (AWMS, volume 18)


Math Circles are extracurricular programs organized by mathematicians, aimed at introducing K-12 students or teachers to novel and interesting mathematics in a collaborative environment. While other authors have discussed the impact of Math Circles on participants, this article explores ways that Math Circles have substantial impact on the professional growth of faculty involved. We hope our experiences and commentary will inspire more faculty to become involved with Math Circles both locally and nationally.


  1. 1.
    Braun, B. et. al. (2016). Active Learning in Post-Secondary Mathematics Education. Retrieved from Scholar
  2. 2.
    Braun, B., Bremser, P, Duval, A., Lockwood, E. and White, D. (September-November 2015). Active Learning in Mathematics, Parts I-VI [blogpost] American Mathematical Society Blog on Teaching and Learning in Mathematics. Retrieved from Scholar
  3. 3.
    Braun, B., Bremser, P, Duval, A., Lockwood, E. and White, D.. What Does Active Learning Mean For Mathematicians?, Notices of the American Mathematical Society, February 2017, Volume 64, Number 2, pp. 124–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Freeman, S., Eddy, S.L., McDonough, M., Smith, M.K., Okoroafor, N., Jordt, H., and Wenderoth, M.P. (2014). Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(23), 8410?8415. Retrieved from CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Hartnett, K. (February 2017). To Live Your Best Life, Do Mathematics. Quanta Magazine. Retrieved from
  6. 6.
    Lynton, E. A (1995). Making the case for professional service. Washington, DC: American Association for Higher Education Forum on Faculty Roles and Rewards.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    MathCircles. The Math Salute. YouTube video. Dec 22, 2010.
  8. 8.
    PCAST STEM Undergraduate Working Group (2012). Engage to Excel: Producing One Million Additional College Graduates with Degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Eds Gates SJ, Jr, Handelsman J, Lepage GP, Mirkin C (Office of the President, Washington).Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Wiegers, B. and White, D. (2016). The establishment and growth of Math Circles in America. Proceedings of the Canadian Society for History and Philosophy of Mathematics/La Société Canadienne d’Histoire et de Philosophie des Mathématiques, pp. 237–248.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Zucker, J. (2012). Be Less Helpful: Embracing Perplexity to Create a Productive Classroom. MTCircular. pp. 5–7. Retrieved from

Copyright information

© The Author(s) and the Association for Women in Mathematics 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Shippensburg UniversityShippensburgUSA
  2. 2.Dickinson CollegeCarlisleUSA
  3. 3.University of Colorado DenverDenverUSA

Personalised recommendations