UCLA Olga Radko Endowed Math Circle

ORMC Projects

Satellite Circles (2021-22 school year)

  • In 2021, an ORMC Intermediate 2 student, named Lawrence Pang, along with his classmates, Vedant Kharul, Rihan Patel, Benjamin Tang, and Andy Troung, started an ORMC Satellite Program for students in grades 2-3 at Wittmann Elementary School with the support of ORMC and of the school principal. Lawrence et. al. wanted to help the community and to provide a free math education to all the interested elementary school students. The team taught various subjects, including binary numbers, logic gates, Hotel Infinity, and ciphers, over the course of 18 weeks. During the program, the team spent much time adjusting the difficulty of the packets to meet the students' levels. The team hopes the students can use what they have learnt to improve their logic and critical thinking skills. 
  • An 11-year-old ORMC student, called Leo, started his own Math Circle for elementary school students in the Upland Unified School District with the support of ORMC, the district superintendent, and junior high principal. Following a lecture-style format taken from his six years of ORMC experience, Leo uses a curriculum that was created by UCLA professors, Dr. Gleizer and the late Dr. Radko. Once a week, Leo teaches lessons ranging from topology, combinatorics, logic, algebra, geometry, number theory, to numerous other topics that generally are not taught in the traditional school curriculum. Leo's goal is to increase student diversity, foster critical thinking, and promote more collaborative, discussion-based learning through engaging and creative methods of problem solving. 

Other Projects (2020-2021 school year)

1) Due to COVID-19, all math circle meetings are conducted virtually via Zoom.

2) We have expanded our competition preparation program, and are now offering three groups, AMC10/12, Olympiads 1 and Olympaids 2.

3) Starting in Spring 2021, we will feature a chess program.

Other Projects (2018-2020 school years)

1) We are supporting current Math Circle students who are starting their own Math Circle Satellites in local elementary, middle and high schools. If you are a current Math Circle student interested in starting (or continuing with) your own Math Circle Satellite program, please plan to come to the math circle's satellites organizational meeting. 

2) We continue invitation-only Math Mentorship Program offering individual attention to dedicated current Math Circle students who require extra support. The program is taught by Mya Greene, a Math Circle alumna who currently studies at USC. Students can be recommended for the Mentorship  Program by the lead instructor of their group. 

3) We continue with the  invitation-only Olympiad training taught by Konstantin Miagkov (assisted by Clark Huang). The program focuses on proof techniques in Olympiad problem solving. At the moment, Olympiad training is just for students who continue with the program.
New Olympiad training for students in grades 6-8 is added in Fall 2018. Only current ORMC students who passed the entrance test are admitted into the program. The program is taught by Alex Pascadi and Ciprian Bonciocat. 

2018-2019: ORMC/LAMC Students Pay It Forward With Their Own Math Circle Satellites

Aditee PrabhutendolkarOver the past three years, I have started a branch of the math circle at four elementary and two middle schools in the Arcadia school district. The elementary schools are Baldwin Stocker, Camino Grove, Holly Avenue, and Highland Oaks. These math circles are for students in 3rd-5th grade. The middle schools are First Avenue and Dana. These math circles are for students in 6th-8th grade. Every math circle meets once a week. The elementary school math circles cover preparation for Math Kangaroo as well as fun math skills, such as number systems, cryptarithms, and logic puzzles. The middle school math circles prepare students for many math competitions (AMC 8, Math Counts, Math Kangaroo, Bay Math League, etc.) and for high school math. There are approximately 30 students at each elementary school and 20 students at each middle school. The group leaders are myself and other Arcadia high school students: Merrick Hua, Jason Chan, Jaime Choy, and Ryan Wang.

Read this Spectrum News article for more information. 

Arul Kolla: For the past two years, in my local elementary school, I run the Highland Oaks Math Circle weekly for all interested 4th and 5th graders. Through this program, I hope to encourage these students to improve their problem-solving techniques and think about math beyond the school curriculum. This year, I taught around 20 to 30 students, and I received feedback from a parent saying that her son had all grown and learned many new topics that he would never have seen otherwise.

Logan Joseph: I began teaching my own math circle through the Caltech/JPL STEM families program after meeting the organizer, Eugenia and her son Lev at the UCLA math circle meeting. I am teaching a Calculus math circle every Sat evening on the Caltech campus. Currently, I have about 8 students. I have received positive feedback from both parents and students. One parent said it's the only class her son has taken outside of school that he wanted continue attending. I really enjoy teaching the class.The focus is to give these kids the challenging math concepts they are not getting in their own classrooms. I plan on continuing the Calculus math circle and might start teaching a JAVA class to kids as well. The UCLA program has benefited me in many ways. I have enjoyed coming to my High School II class and I would never have connected with the STEM family program in Pasadena to teach my own class.

Sahana Sri:My club is at Medea Creek Middle School every Thursday for 6th graders. Usually, 15 students come to learn about challenging math competition problems. I am the only group leader, but a math teacher named Mrs. Sonnabend has kindly sponsored this club for me as is necessary at my school. Some of the students qualified for the eighth-grade Algebra I class next year, which means skipping the usual seventh grade Pre-Algebra class.

Samir Mallya: From November 2018 to April 2019, I taught the Math Olympiad preparation class for 5th graders at Farragut Elementary. This program focused on preparing students for the LA County-wide “Excellence in Mathematics” competition (previously known as the LA County Math Olympiad.) We met every Thursday, where I would instruct the students through the handout I’d created for the week and then allow them time to work on problems using the week’s topic. There were 22 kids accepted into the program based on their math score from the previous year’s California Standardized Test. I operated under supervision by Mrs. Chanda Vy, my previous 5th-grade teacher at Farragut, who gave me full control over the class curriculum and teaching (Mrs. Vy stayed in the room to control any student problems, and I was the sole instructor of the class).

Although originally intended for competition preparation, the program also exposed the 22 students to advanced math topics like LAMC has done for me. The series of classes served to supplement the district’s fifth-grade mathematics curriculum, which has undergone vast changes since I was in elementary school– lots of topics have been moved into the 6th grade curriculum. This puts 5th-graders at a temporary disadvantage as they compete with students from other schools in math competitions and standardized exams, and also hinders their personal mathematical growth. 

Fortunately, my program successfully remediated many of these discrepancies. By the end of the series of classes, students gained and demonstrated knowledge in many areas of mathematics outside the scope of their school's curriculum, including geometry, algebra, and ciphers. To evaluate each student’s growth, I administered a pretest and posttest for the covered topics; all 22 students showed noticeable improvement and displayed their new mathematical skills. I am extremely happy that I was able to use the LAMC’s teachings and model to establish my own math program!

Pranav Kalyan: As a sophomore in high school at Agoura High School, Pranav Kalyan started the Agoura Math Circle. Now a student-run nonprofit organization, it started as an informal club in the family’s garage. Initially, volunteer instructors created their own problems and followed a lecture-style format. Becoming a satellite program was a turning point. Using curriculum developed at ORMC, the group reorganized into a discussion-based environment where students collaborate in solving problems guided by experienced instructors. The results of the new teaching style were recently reflected in AMC 8 and Math Kangaroo national competitions,  where over 20 Agoura students received honor roll and national awards. Currently the Agoura Math Circle has about 375 participants, grades 1-9 attending in person and 300 students enrolled in an online program. Last year, Agoura Math Circle launched a YouTube channel to engage online students. 

Now a ORMC alum, Pranav graduated high school in 2019 and will be attending UC Berkeley in the fall to pursue an engineering degree.