Math Circles
Come to
Santa Barbara


Math circles began over 100 years ago in Eastern Europe and have been flourishing there and in Russia and Asia for generations. They came to the United States a mere 20 years ago. All math circles take a “problem-discussion approach to math education” and expose young students to professional mathematicians and mathematical scientists. Although some participate in math competitions, most emphasize exploration and discovery.

   In 2009, SB Family School collaborated with the Department of Mathematics at UCSB to start the first math circle in Santa Barbara, for junior high students. We began jointly planning it by attending Great Circles 2009, a workshop about math circles sponsored by the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) at U.C.Berkeley, in April, and held our first meeting in October.

In January 2010, SB Family School started the first high school math circle in Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara Math Ellipse, while UCSB continued running the junior high math circle.
Then in October 2010, UCSB switched its junior high math circle to be a high school math circle, so SB Family School started a middle school branch of the Santa Barbara Math Ellipse, which morphed into an upper elementary school math circle in April 2013.
There may also be a branch of the Santa Barbara Math Ellipse for lower elementary school students in the future. To get on the email list for this new group, please contact us.


In 2011, SB Family School ran an elementary school math circle at the Santa Barbara Charter School. The Art of Math: The SBCS Math Circle met after school at SBCS once a week from April to December. If you're interested in having SB Family School bring a math circle to your school, please contact us.

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