The Berkeley Math Circle

BMC Elementary (Grades 1-4)

BMCelem9Editted.jpgThe United Math Circles Foundation is an official umbrella organization for the Berkeley Math Circle.  The United Math Circles Foundation is a non-profit organization.

We had the exciting idea to launch a new math circle group for kids of elementary school age in the fall of 2009. The target age of this group was grades 1-3. The main objective of this group was to develop a positive attitude towards mathematics by introducing young children to the elements of mathematical culture.

BMCelem10Editted.jpgThe program received a warm response from the students and their parents. BMC Elementary program is now in its tenth year. The number of the participants has grown, and now there are two levels:

  • BMC Elementary I, grades 1 and 2
  • BMC Elementary II, grades 3 and 4

The meetings are full of hands-on activities, games, and short problems, which will hopefully establish the positive image of mathematics in the minds of the participants.

BMC Elementary Age

BMC Elementary Fall 2023 program is only for students in grades 1-4 in Fall 2023. If your child is in grade 5 and higher, please apply to BMC Upper.

BMC Elementary Spring 2024 program is only for students in grades 1-4 in Spring 2024. If your child is in grade 5 and higher, please apply to BMC Upper.

BMC Elementary Summer 2024 program is only for students in grades 2-5 in Fall 2024. If your child is in grade 6 and higher in Fall 2024, please apply to the BMC Upper Summer Program.

BMC Elementary Fall, Spring, and Summer programs are offered at two levels: Level I (grades 1 & 2) and Level II (grades 3 & 4).


Fall 2023 ONLINE and In-Person PROGRAM

Dates for Tuesdays in-person:

  • August 29
  • September 5, 12, 19, 26
  • October 3, 10, 17, 24
  • November 7, 14, 21, 28
  • December 5, 12

Dates for Tuesdays online:

  • September 5, 12, 19, 26
  • October 3, 10, 17, 24, 31
  • November 7, 14, 21, 28
  • December 5, 12

 Dates for Wednesdays:

  • September 6, 13, 20, 27

  • October 4, 11, 18, 25

  • November 1, 8 ,15, 22, 29

  • December 6, 13


Schedule for Fall 2023

Classes will be offered on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 5 PM, 6 PM, and 7 PM (All times are given in PST). Tuesday's classes will be held online and in person. Wednesday's classes will be held online.

        Tuition for Fall 2023

·        $288 ($280 tuition + $8 PayPal fee) for continuing students.

·        $323 ($280 tuition + $35 one-time application fee + $8 PayPal fee) for new students.

Financial aid is available.



If you wish to be on the BMC Elementary waiting list, you must complete the online application (one per student). 

We put potential students on our waiting list all year round (no deadline).

Enrollment to BMC Elementary is based on merit and available space. Incomplete applications will NOT be considered.

We will notify you via email if a student has been accepted into the program. We will request all the additional required forms and documents at that time.


All continuing students will receive instructions regarding the application procedure and the forms in the email.

Please check our website periodically for updates.


BMC Elementary Director- Laura Givental

Laura Givental
BMC Elementary Director

bmc.elementary at gmail dot com

A local resident of the East Bay, Laura Givental joined Natalia Rozhkovskaya to teach the BMC Elementary in the Fall semester of 2009. After graduating from a specialized math and physics high school, Laura obtained her B.A. and Masters Degrees in applied mathematics at the Moscow school of "Kerosinka". She has been working, first in Russia and then in the US, as a software engineer and consultant.  Her son Emile, currently a college student, first visited BMC in 1998 prenatally, and now is ready to start a new chapter of his life in computer science field. Educating Emile has been challenging and rewarding for Laura, and she brought this unique expertise to BMC Elementary.

Elysee Wilson-Egolf

Elysee Wilson-Egolf

bmc.elementary.Elysee at gmail dot com

Elysée Wilson-Egolf (BA Mathematics, UC Berkeley) has taught problem-solving with math circles around the Bay Area and the Math Taught the Right Way program since 2016. After four years teaching at independent high schools in Lafayette and San Francisco, Elysée is pursuing a PhD in mathematics at UC Davis.

Jack Rosenberg


 bmc.elementary.Jack at gmail dot com

Jack Rosenberg just finished his BS in Computer Science and Economics at Tufts University in Medford, MA. He has worked with Berkeley Math Circle as an assistant for 5 years and is excited to begin working as an instructor! Some of his interests include playing, teaching, and discussing strategy and board games.

Peter Koroteev


bmc.elementary.Peter at gmail dot com

Peter Koroteev earned his BS and MS at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology where he studied theoretical physics and mathematics. Peter came to the United States for his Ph.D. studies at the University of Minnesota, which he completed in 2012. He was also a postdoctoral fellow at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, ON, Canada. Presently, Peter is a lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley and does research in mathematical physics and string theory. Prof. Koroteev has been working in the educational system through his entire career — from teaching at math summer school in Russia to his experience as a teaching assistant in grad school to, finally, his present work as a lecturer.


Former Instructors

Dave Auckly

Dave Auckly

auckly at msri dot org

Dave Auckly earned his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan and then held a postdoctorial position at UT Austin followed by an NSF postdoc at UC Berkeley. He then moved to Kansas State University before taking the Associate Director position at MSRI. His research interests cover a broad range of geometry/topology and overlap with PDE, mathematical physics and algebraic geometry. He lights up like the Vegas strip when he talks about mathematics. Dave has directed around 30 undergraduate and graduate level research projects and he has been recognized with several teaching awards. In addition to mathematics, Dave enjoys being silly with his wife and two little children. He also enjoys any time that he can spend in the mountains.

Elena Blanter

Elena Blanter

elena dot blanter at gmail dot com

Elena Blanter, a Berkeley resident, received her M.A. in Mathematics from the St. Petersburg University in Russia and has teaching credentials from the same school. Elena's many years of experience span mathematical risk modeling, statistical analysis, and development of financial analytical software. In addition, Elena privately teaches mathematics to elementary school children and Math Magic after school enrichment program in Berkeley and Orinda schools. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to bring her experience and passions to the BMC Elementary. 

Elena Pavlovskaia

Elena Pavlovskaia

BMC.Elementary.Elena at gmail dot com

Elena Pavlovskaia studied at Moscow Math Circle and later she taught other kids there. She received her Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics in Moscow and since then she has been developing Geometry Modeling software. Elena loves Mathematics and wants to share her excitement with BMC students.

Emily Blumenthal


bmc.elementary at gmail dot com

Emily Blumenthal is an undergraduate math major at UC Berkeley. She has taught in various schools in the Bay Area and was a master teacher at the Yleana Leadership Academy. This coming year, she will be pursuing her masters at UC Berkeley in mathematics education.


Ilya Zakharevich

Ilya Zakharevich

bmc.elementary.ilya at gmail dot com

Ilya Zakharevich teaches on and off from 1981. He received his PhD in mathematics 1990 in Moscow. He moved to US in 1990 and to Berkeley in 2001. His research interests in mathematics are integrable systems and analysis.

Ira Kloumova

Ira Kloumova

bmc dot elementary at gmail dot com

Ira Kloumova was born in Moscow, Russia. She graduated from Moscow Mathematics High School # 2, and then from Moscow State University, Department of Mathematics (Division of Functional Analysis, MS in Mathematics). For 17 years, Ira worked as a senior scientific editor in "Kvant", the journal for high school students gifted in Mathematics and Physics. After moving to the USA, Ira obtained a teaching credential from UC Davis, and then she worked at Sacramento City College (Department of Mathematics, professor) for 19 years. Ira has two daughters; both are math professors. Ira joined BMC Elementary team in Fall 2015.

Lizka Vaintrob


bmc.elementary at gmail dot com

Lizka Vaintrob is finishing her BA at Columbia University, where she's studying mathematics and comparative literature and society. She has worked at Canada/USA Mathcamp and has taught at a Berkeley Math Circle program in the past. Lizka is also interested in exploring the intersection of mathematics with other disciplines, like experimenting with mathematical art. 

Mason Klepp


A recent graduate of the University of Oregon, Mason Klepp is a continuing student of abstract mathematics, physics, and philosophy. Having attended six institutions of higher learning throughout his education, he is passionate about unique learning environments which are fun, student centered, and demonstrate the beauty in a subject; an attitude he intends to bring to the classroom through the BMC Elementary program. He has two years of math circle experience at the Eugene Math Circle, and has been an assistant at the BMC summer camp for two summers.

Natalia Rozhkovskaya

Natalia Rozhkovskaya

rozhkovs at math dot ksu dot edu

Natalia Rozhkovskaya is Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Kansas State University - Manhattan. Her primary research interests are representation theory of Lie groups, Lie algebras and quantum groups. In her hometown she had organized a small math circle for first-grade students, who enjoyed this experience a lot. In fall 2009 Natalia participated in the program in Tropical Geometry at MSRI. While visiting Berkeley for few months, she offered her experience and enthusiasm to create a chapter of math circle for little ones.

Vadim Matov


bmc.elementary at gmail dot com

Vadim started to teach math right after he graduated from a high school, and he got his Ph. D. in mathematics in 1983 from Moscow State Very-good-at-that-time University. He is a resident of California since 1991 and worked in many different aspects of applied mathematics with the common theme of Computational Geometry.

Vadim is the only credible historian of the Province of Checilia and the founder of post-sur-realistic movement in the sculpture of small forms (the full catalog of his works is available upon request). Lastly, he is an author of two highly popular books: “Elementary Geometry for Computer Age” and “Mathematics of Teeth Movement” (not yet written).

Vera Serganova

Vera Serganova

serganov at math dot berkeley dot edu

Vera Serganova is a Professor of Mathematics at UC Berkeley. She got her PhD in Russia from St. Petersburg University in 1988. Vera moved to US in 1990 and to Berkeley in 1992. Her research interests are in representation theory and algebraic geometry. Vera teaches high and middle school students at Berkeley Math Circle from 1998.