Math Circle

Learn more about MSUB's fun Math outreach!

"It matters little who first arrives at an idea, rather what is significant is how far that idea can go"
- Sophie Germain

Math Circles across the world are a mathematical outreach activity, designed to let students, teachers and parents see and explore ideas and topics in mathematics not usually covered in the standard curriculum. Guided by professional mathematicians, we focus on creativity, collaboration, problem solving and discovery!

Monatana State University-Billings, with support from the Mathematical Association of America and the Dolciani foundation, is proud to host our own Math Circle for Students grades 4 through 8 in the Billings Area! Please let me know if you are interested in participating, or helping, or if you have any questions or comments! Email me at

Spring 2020 Schedule:

1/22 Mobius Fun! A sheet of paper has 2 sides, if we cut it in half, we would get 2 sheets with 2 sides. If we glue the sheet into a cylinder, it would still have 2 sides, as would the pieces we cut from it. But does this always have to be true? Could we create a figure with less sides somehow? What happens when we cut them?
2/05 Rational Tangles! The natural world records mathematics in beautiful and unexpected ways. Here we will play a game holding pieces of rope and changing positions. As the ropes get more and more tangled, we will see math embedded in the knot in a surprising way.
2/19 Turing Tumble! How DO computers work? We don’t think of computation as a physical or mechanical process, but it is! Come and build a marble powered computer and solve sophisticated computing challenges!
3/11 SET! What can a matching card game teach us about alternative geometries, modular arithmetic, and 4- dimensional space? Come explore the deceptively deep mathematics behind this game!
3/25 Instant Insanity! The “Instant Insanity” puzzle consists of four cubes with faces colored with four colors (commonly red, blue, green, and white). The objective of the puzzle is to stack these cubes in a column so that each side (front, back, left, and right) of the stack shows each of the four colors. The distribution of colors on each cube is unique. Is there a solution? How many? How does the idea of networks or graphs help us illuminate the situation?
4/08 Checkerstax! Two players red and black sit before stacks of checkers with mixed colors. They can only lift up checkers of their own color, but when they do they can keep all the checkers above the ones they lift. The last player to move wins. Can we determine right away who the winner will be in any game? How can we adjust this game to form a new number system?
4/22 Game Day! On the final day of the 2019-2020 MSU-Billings Math Circle, we will a variety of games, some new some favorites, give out prizes, and generally celebrate a year of Math Circle!

Click Here for Math Circle Forms!
Spring 2019 Videos!

Fall 2018 Videos!

Project Brussels Sprouts
Project Checkerstax
Project Prime Climb
Project Rational Tangles
Project SET