Los Angeles Math Circle swiftly transitions to remote learning to ensure student success

Los Angeles Math Circle (LAMC) is a popular weekly free enrichment program for K-12 students hosted by the UCLA Math Department and attracting children from the greater Los Angeles area and nearby counties. The program currently attracts nearly 300 students in all grade levels and is taught by about 30 instructors, who are graduate and undergraduate UCLA student, UCLA faculty, as well as school teachers. The program fills a critical need by providing gifted students a challenging and inclusive environment and showcasing beautiful mathematics not commonly taught in schools.

The COVID-19 epidemic and the resulting societal disruptions have greatly affected the lives of many schoolchildren. LAMC has risen to the occasion by switching to virtual instruction. The LAMC instructional team worked hard on all fronts, from ensuring that technology functions smoothly, to adjusting the curriculum for online use, to keeping the atmosphere of the meetings as close as possible to that of live events. Currently, 12 main groups and 3 additional groups are meeting on a weekly basis. The program is planning an on-line summer session, which will admit a new cohort of students. Many families have reported positive feedback from many families who appreciate the for LAMC’s initiative to continuing learning and provide social context for mathematically talented students.

This year, sixteen 12th graders are graduating from the Los Angeles Math Circle. They will pursue math, engineering, computer science and other majors at Harvard, Yale, MIT, U Chicago, UCLA, among others. Many of these students studied at LAMC since elementary school, taking active part in weekly meetings and contests. Some of them also organized their own math circle satellite programs.

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