Tucson Math Teachers' Circle

About this program

All middle school and high school mathematics teachers who are interested in exploring engaging, accessible topics in mathematics and who strive to incorporate a problem solving approach in their classrooms are encouraged to participate in the Tucson Teachers' Circle.

Participants gain a variety of resources, membership in a dynamic community of mathematics educators, and a renewed sense of appreciation for the fascinating world of mathematics. Participation is free of charge thanks to the support of the Institute for Mathematics and Education (IM&E) , the University of Arizona Foundation, and generous private donors. Please contact us if you would like to support the Teachers' Circle.

Session Structure

Teachers and university faculty members gather at the University of Arizona (usually in the Gould Simpson Building or the Mathematics Building, depending on the group size and equipment needs) from 5:30–7:45 PM one Thursday evening per month to participate in problem solving related to the night's theme. Rich mathematical discussions ensue as teachers explore new ideas.

Participants enjoy a catered dinner and have opportunities to share classroom experiences, best practices, and challenges.

Teachers earn recertification credits for their involvement.

Historical Roots

Math Circles for students have existed for decades in Eastern Europe. A variation also exists in China. They were created to provide challenging problems for high-achieving mathematics students and also to expose these students to topics not covered in the standard school curriculum. These sessions stimulated interest in mathematics and helped these students to compete in various mathematics competitions.

In recent years, Math Circles for students were introduced in Berkeley, California and also in the San Francisco Bay Area. There is currently a Math Circle operating here at the University of Arizona.

Some dedicated math folk in the Bay Area started the first Math Teachers' Circle at the American Institute of Mathematics in 2006. It was so successful that a grant was created to spread the ideas. The American Institute of Mathematics continues to support the training of new teams to create Teachers' Circles throughout the country, and to support them with resources including this useful website.

Click here to see where other Teachers' Circles exist in the United States.

Spring 2017 Tucson Math Teachers' Circles Events

Teachers' Circle events for this semester are for both Middle School and High School teachers.

  • Tuesday, January 31

    Bruce Bayly
    Balloon Sculpture for Fun, Profit, and Math Teaching

  • Tuesday, February 28

    Matthew Wheeler
    Pick's Theorem

  • Tuesday, March 28

    Matthias Morzfeld

  • Tuesday, April 25

    Andrew Gillette

    Fall 2016 Tucson Math Teachers' Circles Events

    Teachers' Circle events for this semester are for both Middle School and High School teachers.

  • Thursday, September 22

    Jason Aubrey
    Forever Undecided

  • Thursday, October 20

    Brenae Bailey
    Exploring Euler

  • Thursday, November 17

    Alan Newell
    Fun with Averages

  • Thursday, December 8

    Janice Takagi
    Nested Polyhedra and the Polyhedron Project

  • Fall 2014 Tucson Math Teachers' Circles Events

    Middle School Teachers' Circle

  • Monday, September 8

    Jason Aubrey
    The Fibonacci Factor

  • Monday, October 13

    Bruce Bayly
    Topic TBA

  • Monday, November 10

    Angel Chavez
    Topic TBA

  • Monday, December 8

    Susan Durst
    Topic TBA

    High School Teachers' Circle

  • Monday, September 22

    Brie Finegold
    An Introduction to Data Analysis for High School: Answering real-life questions by analyzing raw data

  • Monday, October 27

    Fred Stevenson
    Topic TBA

  • Monday, November 24

    Aaron Eckstrom
    Topic TBA

  • Monday, December 15

    Tyler Kloefkorn
    Topic TBA

    Spring 2014 Tucson Math Teachers' Circles Events

    Middle School Teachers' Circle

  • Monday, February 10

    Fred Stevenson
    Bumper Pool

  • Monday, March 10

    Brie Feingold
    Turn up the volume!

  • Monday, April 14

    Susan Durst
    Symmetries and wallpaper patterns.

  • High School Teachers' Circle

  • Monday, February 24

    David Glickenstein
    Short paths on surfaces

  • Monday, March 24

    Tom Kennedy
    Packing the plane with discs

  • Monday, April 28

    Fred Stevenson
    Shattering the number one

    Past Sessions

    Click here to browse sessions from 2007-2012.

  • Contact Us

    To learn more about the circle and inquire about joining, send an email to or contact the Teacher Circles' facilitators: Gabriela Jaramillo or Lidia Mrad.