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About The NMC

What is the Nashville Math Circle?

The Nashville Math Circle is a program for all students in grades 7-12 who like mathematics and want to learn more. Students will meet weekly to work with Vanderbilt faculty on a number of activities designed to broaden mathematical problem solving skills, going beyond the regular classroom curricula to discover the beauty of mathematics. Students will learn about many deep topics such as non-Euclidean geometry, the strangeness of infinity and mathematical paradoxes, logic, and the mathematics of networks.

Costs and Registration

The Nashville Math Circle is completely free of charge.

Participants must register, and must fill out a liability release and medication form (both forms are linked within the online registration form).

NMC Code of Conduct

Participants are expected to arrive on time and ready to learn and have fun. Please email one of the organizers if your child will be unable to attend.

  • NMC supports students at all stages of learning math; participants are not expected to know all the answers but are expected to stay on task, think creatively, and work both independently and in a group of peers.
  • Participants should treat each other with respect and be supportive of the learning process.
  • The following is not permitted and participants exhibiting these may be dismissed from the program:
    1. Hurtful, bullying or abusive behavior to others.
    2. Inappropriate conduct toward peers or NMC faculty and facilitators.
    3. Use and/or possession of weapons, drugs and alcohol.
    4. Destruction of property or theft.

Sample questions:

Here are some examples of topics and questions we may cover.

  • What is 0.9999999… ?
  • Why does the Golden Ratio show up so much in nature?
  • Is it really true that one can cut an apple into 5 pieces, rearrange them and obtain two apples of the same size, doubling the volume of apples without creating any new material?
  • How can one turn a sphere inside out?
  • What is infinity? Are all “infinities” the same size? How can infinite hotels with all rooms full accommodate infinitely many more guests?
  • If a local barber shaves everyone who does not shave themselves, and shaves only those people, then does that barber shave themselves?
  • Do triangles always have angles which add up to 180 degrees, or are there shapes where triangles can have angles adding up to different numbers? Are there “exotic” geometry theories where all triangles are isosceles and every point inside a circle is the center of that circle?
  • Three intelligent mice found a piece of cheese. How should they arrange dividing it so that each mouse would be sure to get at least 1/3 of the cheese.