Math Circle

Greetings! Soli Deo Gloria Math Circle encourages and challenges home schooled, accredited independent study students, and other kinds of students to excel in math problem solving in a fun and collaborative setting.

Gentle competition brings out the best in these students. The focus of the club is not on winning, but on learning new strategies to attack seemingly impossible problems. The competition is with one's self. Sharing these great strategies is an integral part of our club - it is the teamwork aspect that inspires the students to keep trying. Soli Deo Gloria Math Cirlce seeks to draw out the creative nature of mathematical problem solving.

Students in the 6th through 8th grades are invited to participate if they are fluent in the basic math facts, are good readers, and are using an appropriate curriculum. These word problems challenge students to think creatively to find answers, and logical thinking skills are important! Many students feel more confident if they are in pre-algebra or in the higher middle school levels.

Middle school grade students (grades 6-8) should participate in practice events and may want to participate in MathCounts and the AMC8. MathCounts teams are created by geographical region by a student's residence. Students may wish to participate in the Chapter competition in February (parents are responsible for registration, transportation, and supervision).

High School students usually volunteer to help at our middle school practice events as well. Many of the high school level events are divided by the student's current math class or grade level. The KSU exam is a free, statewide classroom administered test that we encourage students to try. The top 5-10% of scores are invited to the proof round in February. We encourage students to prepare for the AMC exams held in November. These are the national math exams which find talented students and encourage math excellence. Mrs. Madi Parker (madiparker07 at bellsouth dot com) is our competition manager who helps students register and she proctors the exam remotely during this pandemic time. Pre-Covid, we offered the AMCs at the public library with their proctor serving in this role and everyone sweated out those hard problems in the same room. We hope to someday return to that setting!

During normal, pre-pandemic years, high school math meets are usually on Saturdays, though Middle Georgia and Berry offer meets during the week. Meets at colleges allow students to have an informal contact with the college and learn about potential college matches while the students enjoy each other's company and bond over proofs and solutions.

This is our twentieth year holding math club meetings. We have had some wonderful successes in the past, and I expect many more in the future:

  • In 2004-05, we won our MathCounts chapter, and the team advanced to state competition. with one of our mathletes going all the way to Nationals!

  • In 2010, one of our students advanced to state MathCounts and finished 18th.

  • In 2020, one of our students advanced to state MathCounts and finished in the top 25%.

  • We have offered the American Invitational Math Exam (AIME) numerous times for those who qualified with super scores on the AMC 10 or 12.

  • We have had qualifiers for the USAMO three times, the ultimate exam which is used to select the US team for the International Mathematical Olympiad.

  • We have had three students matriculate at MIT, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, considered by many to be the best college in the world.

However, all success is not measured by acceptance letters, trophies, and scores. I am also thrilled when someone who "does not like math" reveals that it's textbook math that s/he did not like, but math club math is fun! Or how about people who have become excited about math, when they were just good at grinding it out before? Those are the day to day successes that make my ministry to students worthwhile.

Come play math with us!

Ann Dorminy, Facilitator