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Department of Mathematics

Fresno Math Circle

Congratulations to our High School Math Circle participant and Volunteer Helper in grades 8-9 Zian Shi on winning a gold medal at the International Physics Olympiad in July 2023! This is an amazing acomplishment! 

Fresno Math Circle is an enrichment program for students in grades 3-12 interested in mathematics.The purpose of Fresno Math Circle is to introduce children to interesting mathematical ideas that are not taught in school, work on challenging problems, discuss some important concepts at a greater depth than is usually done in school, develop logic and reasoning skills, and, very importantly, have fun with mathematics and make friends who also like mathematics.

The program is free and is open to students in grades 3-12 at public, private, or home schools. If your child wants to learn more mathematics and is ready for some challenges, sign them up for Fresno Math Circle!

If you are interested in enrolling your child in the Fresno Math Circle, please apply now. Space is limited, so sign up soon!


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In AY 2023-24, we have the following groups: grades 4-5, 6-7, 8-9, and 10-12. Grades 4-5, 6-7, and 8-9 meet every other Saturday from 10:00-11:30 AM. These are taught by mathematics faculty and Fresno State students. A few high school Math Circle participants volunteer to assist with the meetings. Grades 10-12 meet every other Wednesday from 5:30-7:30 PM, taught by Fresno State mathematics faculty. In addition, for those interested in competing, we host a few national and local competitions in mathematics problem solving, as well as preparation sessions for them.

The program is currently supported by Fresno State College of Science and Mathematics, Department of Mathematics, and parents' donations. It has also been supported by the Mathematical Association of America (Dolciani Mathematics Enrichment and Tensor SUMMA Grants) and the San Joaquin Valley Math Project (SJVMP) in the past.

Fresno Math Circle (FMC) is an enrichment program at California State University, Fresno, attracting elementary, middle and high school students interested in mathematics and eager to learn. It is led by the University faculty and students, assisted by community partners, and supported by the Mathematical Association of America (Dolciani Mathematics Enrichment Grants), Fresno State College of Science and Mathematics, Department of Mathematics, and parents' donations.

The program's mission is to provide local children with a friendly environment that fosters learning beautiful mathematical theories beyond the regular school curriculum and developing critical thinking and problem solving skills

Specific goals of the Fresno Math Circle are:

  • Promote learning of advanced mathematics
  • Develop participants' critical thinking and problem solving skills
  • Prepare participants for mathematics contests
  • Create a social context for mathematically inclined students
  • Provide an enrichment program in mathematics to children from economically diverse backgrounds
  • Train and enhance instructional abilities of future teachers

The program will achieve these goals by:

  • Exposing participants to mathematical topics typically not covered in the K-12 curriculum
  • Actively engaging participants in problem solving
  • Teaching effective problem solving strategies
  • Selecting applicants motivated to learn mathematics regardless of their socio-economic status and ability to support FMC financially
  • The university faculty developing high quality materials and actively engaging students in leading FMC meetings

To ensure that we have an enjoyable and efficient working environment, we have the following rules:

  • Be on time
  • Be prepared
  • Be respectful
  • Be on task
  • Try your best
  • Enjoy!

Here are some details about our rules and expectations.

  • Each Saturday Math Circle meeting starts at 10:00 AM (rooms open at 9:45 AM) while each Wednesday Math Circle meeting starts at 5:30 PM (room opens at 5:15). We start working on problems right away. It is important to be on time. If someone is late, they will have less time to work on the problems and will be at a disadvantage when we discuss them as a whole group. Also, it is distracting when late participants enter the room.
  • You should bring a 3-ring binder dedicated to the Fresno Math Circle with you to every meeting. This binder will be used to file your materials and/or worksheets handed out at the meeting.
  • Do your best to attend every Math Circle meeting. It is understood that sometimes participants may miss a meeting due to an illness, emergency, or family travel, but we ask that you please notify us of any absences. Due to a long waiting list, participants may be dropped from the roster after two unexcused absences or if they miss more than four meetings in any semester.
  • To avoid any possible allergies, please do not bring any food or drink other than water to the classroom.
  • Every participant is expected to participate in all Math Circle activities during our meetings. No reading of outside materials, playing on a phone or a computer, etc. are allowed. If you bring a phone to the Math Circle, it must be stored away and remain silent during the meeting.
  • We have a variety of ages, grade levels, backgrounds, and problem solving experiences in the Math Circle. You may be one of the fastest or one of the slowest problem solvers. In either case, it is important to keep in mind that this is not a race. We will respect all participants. No matter how many problems someone has solved in the time allowed, they will learn from working on those problems. We normally try to maintain a non-competitive environment. However, occasionally we have in-circle problem solving competitions. We expect good sportsmanship from all of our participants.
  • Many of the problems we are working on and the concepts we are discussing are really challenging. Most of the time the participants will not be able to solve all problems. They should not get discouraged by that. On average, first year Math Circle participants retain about 30% of the material. We will revisit many of the concepts, ideas, problem solving strategies, etc. in our future meetings this year as well as next year. The more experience you gain, the better problem solver you will become!

Math Circle

Math Competitions

We host several national and local mathematics competitions.

View Competitions


The Fresno Math Circle runs from September through May every year.

View Calendar

Contact Information

Fresno Math Circle Director:
Dr. Maria Nogin


Phone: 559.960.9420

Fresno Math Circle
Department of Mathematics
5245 North Backer Ave, M/S PB 108
California State University, Fresno
Fresno, CA 93740-8001

Useful Links

AMC 8 - national competition for students in grade 8 or below
AMC 10/12 - national competitions for high school students
Math Kangaroo - international competition for students in grades 1-12
Math Field Day - local competition for middle and high school students
Integration Bee - local competition for high school students
Art of Problem Solving - great resource for math curriculum and  competition preparation
Math Counts - resource for math competition preparation
The Magical Way to Learn Mathematics - some magic tricks that we have taught in the Fresno Math Circle