Frequently Asked Questions
General information about UCLA Olga Radko Endowed Math Circle (ORMC)
|Fall||October 6th-December 8th|
|Winter||January 12th-March 15th|
|Spring||April 5th-JUne 7th|
|Fall||October 11th-December 13th|
|Winter||January 10th-March 14th|
|Spring||April 4th-June 6th|
|Fall||October 3rd-December 5th|
|Winter||January 9th-March 13th|
|Spring||April 3rd-June 5th|
|Fall||October 2nd-December 4th|
|Winter||January 8th-March 12th|
|Spring||April 2nd-June 4th|
Yes. Each session (Fall, Winter and Spring), we skip one Sunday due to a long weekend:
Fall: skip Sunday of the Thanksgiving weekend
Winter: skip Sunday of the President’s Day weekend
Spring: skip Sunday of the Memorial Day weekend
We meet on all other Sundays that fall into our academic year calendar.
The summer program/session is open to the public to give more students an opportunity to study at the ORMC. Only new students are eligible to apply. Students enrolled into the Academic year program the year that precedes the summer session are not eligible to apply for the summer session.
The summer program covers elementary and middle school only. Availability of specific grade levels depends on the availability of instructors.
The summer program starts in mid-late June and runs through mid-August. Specific dates are announced in early June of each year.
To apply for the summer session, please complete the following steps:
Create an account on the ORMC’s web page
Apply for the summer session (marked 19X, 20X, etc. where 19, 20, etc., represents the year and X represents the summer session). Each year, applications open in May.
Bring your child to an entrance assessment (approximately 1 hr long). Entrance assessment is scheduled in late May-early June.
Students who qualify after taking the assessment are admitted into the program.
Summer program is completely independent of the Academic Year Program. Students admitted into the summer session do not automatically continue in the Academic year program. Academic year program for grades 3-12 is usually full with students continuing from the previous year. If there are any openings, they are given to National Winners of Math Kangaroo (places 1-20) or Honor Roll students on American Math Competitions and/or top students from the summer program.
1st-2nd graders can apply to a newly formed group each odd year (2015, 2017, 2019, etc.)
Yes. You can use all of our handouts that are available on the web page.
Handouts from past academic years are available in the ORMC’s archive.
Handouts from the current academic year are available in the ORMC’s calendar.
In the summer session, we often reuse handouts from past years. Thus, we do usually do not post the summer session handouts online.
Currently, only the curriculum for our Kindergarten program, Breaking Numbers into Parts, is published and available on here on Amazon:
Several local schools and satellite math circles are using this curriculum.
Here is the list of recommended books and textbooks. The indicated grade level is very approximate. Often, older children really love books targeting younger audiences
1. “Sir Cumference”, a series of educational books about math, by Cindy Neuschwander and Wayne Geehan. There are 10 books in the series, covering concepts from logic, arithmetic, algebra and geometry in a story-telling format. Most of the characters of the books are named after math terms, such as Sir Cumference (circumference) and Lady Di of Ameter (diameter). This helps students remember important concepts while enjoying entertaining stories.
2. “What’s your angle, Pythagoras?” (a math adventure) by Julie Ellis.
" The Number Devil” by Hans Magnus Enzensberger.Discover and explore a variety of topics, from prime numbers to Pascal’s triangle, presented to Robert, a young boy who does not like math, by the Number Devil.
Are there any recommended online classes?
1. Institute for Math and Computer Science (IMACS)
2. Art of Problem Solving (AoPS)
3. Khan Academy
ORMC is a proctoring site for the following competitions:
AMC8 (American Math Competition for grades 8 and below. The AMC 8 is a 25-question, 40-minute, multiple-choice examination in middle school mathematics designed to promote the development of problem-solving skills. The AMC 8 provides an opportunity for middle school students to develop positive attitudes towards analytical thinking and mathematics that can assist in future careers. Students apply classroom skills to unique problem-solving challenges in a low-stress and friendly environment.
AMC8 is appropriate for ORMC students in grades 7 and 8. In rare cases, exceptionally strong 5th and 6th graders may benefit from participation.
AMC takes place on a Tuesday in November. We proctor the students after school hours. To take AMC8 at ORMC, you will need to register on our web page. Space is limited due to classrooms and proctors availability. Priority is given to current ORMC students in good standing.
Please visit the AMC8’s web page to learn more about the competition.
Art of Problem Solving has an archive of AMC8 questions and solutions available as a resource:
AMC10 and AMC12 (American Math Competition for grades 10 and below, and for grades 12 and below)
The AMC 10 and AMC 12 are both 25-question, 75-minute, multiple-choice examinations in high school mathematics designed to promote the development and enhancement of problem-solving skills.
AMC10 is appropriate for ORMC students in grades 9 and 10, while AMC12 is appropriate for ORMC students in grades 11 and 12. Sometimes, younger students can benefit from participation. The best way to find out if the competition is the right fit for you is to solve problems from past contests. You are also encouraged to talk to the lead instructor from your group for a recommendation.
The AMC 10/12 provides an opportunity for high school students to develop positive attitudes towards analytical thinking and mathematics that can assist in future careers. The AMC 10/12 is the first in a series of competitions that eventually lead all the way to the International Mathematical Olympiad (see Invitational Competitions).
AMC10/12 are offered by the Mathematics Association of America (MAA) on two dates in February, date A and date B. In most years, ORMC proctors the competition on one date only, with the date selected taking into account our students’ preferences, as well as availability of rooms and proctors.
Many high schools also offer proctoring of AMC10/12. Please check with your school to see if you can take the contest there.
Since date A and date B competitions have different problems, you can officially take AMC10/12 on date A in one location and on date B at another (or even the same) location.
Art of Problem Solving has an archive of AMC10 and AMC12 questions and solutions available as a resource:
AIME (American Invitational Math Exam) and USAMO (USA Math Olympiad)
AIME and USAMO are the 2nd and the 3rd round of the national Olympiad. Students need to perform well on AMC10/AMC12 in order to qualify for AIME. Strong performance on AIME is necessary to qualify for USAMO.
Please note that you are not eligible to participate in AIME and USAMO if you did not qualify through high performance on AMC10/AMC12.
We proctor AIME and USAMO for all students who qualify by taking AMC10/12 at ORMC.
Please see the AIME’s and USAMO’s web pages for details.
Math Kangaroo is nationwide contest for grades 1-12, offered on the 3rd Thursday of March each year. The format is 24 questions for 75 minutes in grades 1-4, and 30 questions for 75 minutes in grades 5-12.
The contest is very popular, and advanced registration is required. We have space for approximately 90 students whom we can proctor at ORMC. As soon as the contest is announced, we recommend registering as soon as possible (i.e., the same day), as the space quickly fills up.
Every year, more and more proctoring sites for Math Kangaroo open up throughout Los Angeles. Please check Math Kangaroo’s web page to see if there is a MK proctoring site in your area.
For more information, please visit the Math Kangaroo’s web page at:
The Bay Area Mathematical Olympiad (BAMO) consists of two exams, each taken by hundreds of students, with 5 proof-type math problems to be solved in 4 hours. One exam, BAMO8, is for students in 8th grade and under, and the other, BAMO12, is for students in 12th grade and under. They are held on the last Tuesday of every February. ORMC serves as a proctoring site for BAMO.
BAMO is a unique contest, similar in structure to USAMO, yet not requiring any prequalification. Solving even one of the problems on BAMO is a big achievement.
To get an idea of the style and level of the competition, please go to the competition’s archive.
While ORMC serves as a proctoring site for several competitions, ORMC students are not required to participate in any of these. Taking part in a competition is a very individual decision, especially for younger students. For some students preparing for math contest provides motivation and gives structure to their studies. Others might find the stress and time pressure in a competition to be too limiting. We support and guide our students in making the choice, which is right for them.
Math Kangaroo: Due to space limitations and the popularity of competition, we do not have the capacity to proctor students not currently enrolled into ORMC for Math Kangaroo.
AMC8, AMC10, AMC12: Occasionally, we have a handful of spots which we can offer to students not currently enrolled into ORMC. Please check with the ORMC’s director, Dr. Oleg Gleizer, by writing at email@example.com at least 2 weeks before the competition you are interested in.
AIME, USAMO: if we have any ORMC students taking AIME/USAMO at UCLA, we can usually proctor 1-2 additional students who qualified at another location.
Bay Area Math Olympiad: Depending on the how many ORMC students participate in BAMO, we can offer seats to a few more students.
ORMC is a free program. While we ask parents to support us by making a tax-deductible donation, this is not mandatory and is not a factor in enrollment decisions. The suggested amount is $200 per students per quarter. However, we value and appreciated donations in any amount and aim for 100% of families participating in the donation drive instead of focusing on the amount of each individual donation. We suggest waiting until your child is admitted into the program before making a donation.
ORMC was most recently supported by a Research and Training Grant awarded by the National Science Foundation, and by parents donations. In the past, seed funded was provided by Boeing, Ratheon, MSRI, and Squid&Squash foundation.
An online donation can be made by following the link… and selecting “10 Year Anniversary Fund”. Please select the “In Honor of “ field and add your child’s name there. This will help us to link your donation with your account on ORMC’s web page.
You can also donate by check made payable to UCLA Foundation. The check can be given to the lead instructor of your child’s group or to ORMC’s director, Dr. Oleg Gleizer. You can also send the checks by mail to:
UCLA Mathematics Department
520 Portola Plaza, MS 6363
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1555
We do not allow parents in the classrooms on a regular basis. If you are interested in observing a specific level or a specific class, please write to Dr. Oleg Gleizer, director of the ORMC, at firstname.lastname@example.org
We do not allow food of any kind in our 1 hour classes (Breaking Numbers into Parts (BNP), Beginner 1 and Beginner 2). A water bottle is fine.
Groups for older students that meet for 2 hours take a small break in the middle of the meeting. Students can have a snack during the break, but not inside of the classroom.
To be in good standing, students need to meet the following criteria:
1). Attend ORMC sessions regularly. If your child misses 2 or more classes in a 9-weeks session, he/she might lose priority enrollment for the next session.
2). Be an active participant in ORMC sessions, i.e., demonstrate sustained interested in the subject matter studied in class; complete assigned homework; make progress in their learning.
3). Have no disciplinary problems or other classroom-related issues.
Lead instructor of your child’s group has the most up-to-date information on your child’s progress in the program. You can briefly talk to the lead instructor after the class, when you pick up your child from an ORMC session. You can also write to the lead instructor by email. Different groups may have different methods of tracking progress. It is best to communicate with the lead instructor to find out how your child is doing.
ORMC students usually move up together as a group. In rare cases, when the group instructors observe that the student cannot be adequately challenged within the level he/she is enrolled in, we consider moving the student in question to the next level. This usually works best when initiated by the group’s instructors. The final decision about moving up a level is made by the ORMC’s director, Dr. Oleg Gleizer.