Palakkad Math Circle

Palakkad Math Circle is an IIT Palakkad outreach initiative aimed at enhancing the level of mathematical education in schools around Palakkad. This is based on 'Mathematical Circles', a highly successful pedagogical model with origins in Eastern Europe.

What is a Math Circle? Thirty to forty high school students meet with a mathematician for a couple of hours in an informal setting on weekends to work on interesting problems or topics in mathematics. Basic characteristics of these sessions are the following.

  • Engaging. The fundamental goal of a math circle session is to engage kids. The presenter finds a creative means of leading students into the topic for the day.
  • Interactive. Ideally a math circle gathering will resemble a kindergarten classroom more than a college lecture. Tom Davis (San Jose Math Circle) has this yardstick to score a math circle session: 1 point per minute you talk; 5 points per minute a student talks; 10 points per minute you argue with a student; 50 points per minute the students argue among themselves!
  • No set syllabus. The objective of a math circle is not to cover material. The main criterion for selecting topics is their potential to make an engaging session.
  • Accelerated learning. Many sessions will be led by professionals who would present the content at a deep level. This will help accelerate the student learning beyond their grade and also ensure that some of the occasional profound questions raised by the students get the attention they demand.
  • Voluntary. Participation is voluntary. There is no fear of attendance or grades.
  • Teacher involvement. The involvement of school teachers will ensure a multiplicative effect where the finer aspects of the programme will percolate to local schools. The school teachers would help us to become more effective mentors. In turn, the school teachers would benefit from the association by being exposed to diverse and deep mathematical content

Past Events. IIT Palakkad organized a one day workshop on 14 December 2019 for high school mathematics teachers from Palakkad. This workshop provided an opportunity to interact with prominent educators with diverse experiences in mathematics education. This was meant to be a precursor to the first Palakkad Math Circle and provided a platform to plan and organize a pilot run of the Math Circle in a few selected schools during Jan-Feb 2020.

Upcoming Events. The first session of Palakkad Math Circle and selection of students for the subsequent sessions are scheduled in September 2022.