The Berkeley Math Circle


To view the frequently asked questions, you may either scroll down and look at each one or select a question below:


How is the Berkeley Math Circle structured?

The Berkeley Math Circle is divided into two groups: BMC-Upper and BMC-Elementary.

The BMC-Upper is organized by Zvezdelina Stankova, and it consists of three levels:

  1. BMC-Beginners: Recommended for grades 4-6
  2. BMC-Intermediate: Recommended for grades 7-8
  3. BMC-Advanced: Recommended for grades 9-12

The BMC-Elementary is organized by Laura Givental, and it consists of two levels:

  1. BMC Elementary I: For grades 1-2
  2. BMC Elementary II: For grades 3-4

How do I apply to the Berkeley Math Circle?

Students must submit an application to the Berkeley Math Circle every academic year. Admission to the Circle has been changed into a selective process. Detailed directions for applying can be found in our "Apply to BMC" page. We do not have a waiting list. Please note that applying to BMC Elementary (Grades 1-4) is organized by Laura Givental.

Application for the following semester will generally open by Thanksgiving for the Spring semester, and Spring Break for the Fall semester.

Interested students must need to download the application form found in the "Apply to BMC" page and must answer two essay questions by themselves. The BMC has a fee of $170 per semester, which must be written out as a check made out to the "United Math Circle Foundation". The application, transcript, and payment are due by the last session of the Circle in the semester. One may submit the application by mail or slide it under our office at room 713 Evans Hall, UC Berkeley.

You may mail in the check and application to the following address:

Berkeley Math Circle 
Attn: Zvezdelina Stankova 
Department of Mathematics 
Room 970, Evans Hall 
University of California at Berkeley 
Berkeley, CA 94720-3840 

Can I join the BMC now? I missed the deadline for applying.

Generally, the seats for the Berkeley Math Circle are completely full after the deadline for applying. However, students may email the BMC Assistant, Harry Main-Luu, around mid-semester, if any spots are open. If such is the case, we will request that you submit an application along with a check of $80 made out to the "United Math Circle Foundation".

When and where are the BMC sessions held?

The Berkeley Math Circle is held every Tuesday evening during the Academic Year of UC Berkeley.

BMC-Beginners I meet from 5:00PM to 6:20PM at room 340 of Evans Hall. 
Beginners II meet from 6:30PM to 8:00PM at room 340 of Evans Hall. 
BMC-Intermediate I meet from 6:10 PM to 7:55 PM at room 332 of Evans Hall. 
BMC-Intermediate II meet from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at room 740 of Evans Hall. 
BMC-Advanced meet from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at room 736 of Evans Hall. 

The BMC-Upper office is located at room 713 of Evans Hall. If you have any questions, we strongly encourage you to visit our office on Tuesdays from 5:15 PM to 5:45 PM or 6:15 PM to 7:45 PM.

What kind of sessions should I expect at the BMC?

The sessions held at the Circle is far beyond what is taught in schools! We have an informal 30% rule that first year students are typically expected to understand around thirty-percent of what is covered in the session. This percentage will increase the following year, and students generally master the material after around 3 years. Students who have been in a level for at least 3 years are expected to move on to the next level.

Each session of the Berkeley Math Circle is led by our wonderful instructors. The topics are chosen by their mathematical area of interest. Typically, BMC-Beginners have 3 or 4 sessions led by the same instructor, while BMC-Intermediate and BMC-Advanced may cover different topics by different instructors each week.

Is there a mandatory textbook for the Circle?

No, there is no mandatory textbook for the Circle. Typically, instructors have handouts for their sessions, which will be available on our "Calendar" page within 24 hours of giving the session. If you have missed a session or lost the handout, please download a copy from our "Calendar" page.

We typically recommend new students to the Circle to purchase "A Decade of the Berkeley Math Circle" (price: $20), which contains chapters that contain sessions from the early ages of the Berkeley Math Circle. You may purchase this book at our office at room 713, Evans Hall on Tuesdays, 5:15 PM to 5:45 PM or 6:15 PM to 7:45 PM from the BMC Assistant, Noah Lee (koreannoah(at)berkeley(dot)edu).

How can parents get involved in helping the Berkeley Math Circle?

BMC Assistant will ask for parent volunteers via email a week before each semester. If you are a math enthusiast who wish to help out and listen in on the sessions, please do not hesitate to contact the BMC Assistant. We have been very fortunate to have at least a couple of parents in each level to help us out! Parent volunteers, or "room parents", are the only parents allowed in the sessions due to the large number of students.

Please do not bring any food for other students, as there were several allergic reactions in the past. You are welcome to bring your own snack during break.

I am a current student/parent at the Circle. How can I find information about math camps/competitions?

BMC Assistant sends out weekly emails to enrolled students and parents regarding upcoming math talks, competitions, etcs. Please read the "BMC Weekly" to find these information!

How can I donate to the Berkeley Math Circle?

You may donate to the Berkeley Math Circle by mailing us a check to the "United Math Circles Foundation". Thank you very much!