Welcome to Chattanooga Math Circle!


What is Chattanooga Math Circle About?

There is a correlation between problem solving and the learning process of mathematics. Strong problem solving skills have considerable effect in transforming a mathematics enthusiast into an exceptional researcher. Following the traditions of Russian and Eastern European math circles, Chattanooga Math Circle is a creative enrichment program geared toward gifted middle and high school students in grades 7-10. Its objectives are:

  • to provide an enriching and stimulating environment that encourages further involvement from students already interested in mathematics;

  • to promote mathematics to a wider audience and explain its impact and relevance for society;

  • to develop the mathematical background of students; and

  • to guide students towards promising careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

The Math Circle includes the following major components:

  • a series of mathematically intensive, expository seminars on a variety of pure, applied and computational mathematics topics designed to challenge top Chattanooga students;

  • special guest lectures that show students some of the ways mathematicians approach problems;

  • collaborative problem solving activities that focus on complex problems and advanced problem solving techniques; and

  • workshops on American Mathematics Competitions (AMC) 8 and 10/12 B.

The Math Circle focuses on topics outside of what is typically covered in a middle and high school setting but accessible to the mathematically inclined students. These are as varied as advanced Euclidean geometry, elementary number theory, fractals, combinatorics, graph theory, probability, statistics, game theory, and logic. Under the guidance and instruction of mathematics faculty and supported by talented undergraduate mathematics majors, students will have the opportunity to learn and explore a variety of effective problem solving strategies. Students can expect to be supported in an environment with events and activities that help them learn quickly and push outside their comfort zone, to grow their skills and gain valuable insights into various mathematical problems, and to have a lot of fun learning beautiful and useful mathematics.


Fall 2017 Schedule

The format is that of one and a half hours meeting, from 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM on Thursdays. The Math Circle will meet in Room 239 of the Engineering, Mathematics, and Computer Science (EMCS) Building starting September 7th and continuing until December 14th. After hours parking is free in Lot 10. Parents are welcome to use the UTC Library while their children are participating in the Math Circle. The latest books and magazines are in the common area of the first floor of the UTC Library.





Pythagorean Triangles

Andrew Ledoan


Majorization and Muirhead’s Theorem

Roger Nichols


Exploring a Mathematical Magic Trick: Liar’s Bingo

Sarah Trebat-Leder (Emory University)


AMC 8 and AMC 10 Workshops

Shannon Hyder, Rhionna Sims, Roger Nichols, Andrew Ledoan


Difference Equations and Their Applications to Population Dynamics

Jin Wang (UTC)


Hamilton County Fall Break (No session)



Polygon Differencing Games

Philip Yasskin (Texas A&M University)


AMC 8 and AMC 10 Workshops



Prime Numbers

 Andrew Ledoan


Understanding the Law of Large Numbers and the Central Limit Theorem by Looking at Color Distribution of M&M Candies

 Cuilan (Lani) Gao


AMC 8 Competition at UTC



 Walking On and Coloring Graphs

Ben Webb (Brigham Young University)


Thanksgiving Holiday (No session)



AMC 10 Workshop






Who Wants to Be a Mathematician? (Quiz competition)



Math Circle Instructors

The Math Circle instructors are faculty members and graduate and undergraduate students from The University of Tennessee at Chattanoooga (UTC) and Lee University:

  • Prof. Andrew Ledoan, UTC, Director

  • Prof. Roger Nichols, UTC, Co-Director

  • Prof. Cuilan (Lani) Gao, UTC, Co-Director

  • Prof. Debra Mimbs, Lee

  • Ms. Shannon Hyder, UTC

  • Ms. Rhionna Sims, UTC


Upcoming Mathematics Competitions

The AMC is a series of national mathematical competitions of increasing difficulty organized annually by the Mathematical Association of America. Participants are middle school and high school students. According to AMC, the competitions are intended for everyone from the average student at a typical school who enjoys mathematics to the very best student at the most special school. The AMC starts with AMC 8 and AMC 10/12, continues with the American Invitational Mathematics Examination (AIME) for students who qualify, and finishes with the United States of America Mathematical Olympiad (USAMO). The top participants in the USAMO are invited to take part in the Mathematical Olympiad Summer Program (MOSP), where a US team for the International Olympiad is selected.

The dates for the upcoming AMC contests are:

  • AMC 8 — Tuesday, November 14, 2017

    • 25 multiple choice questions in 40 minutes

    • AMC 8 is for grades 6, 7, and 8

  • AMC 10/12 A — Tuesday, February 7, 2018

  • AMC 10/12 B — Wednesday, February 15, 2018

    • 25 multiple choice questions in 75 minutes

    • AMC 10 is for grades 9-10 (top 2.5% nationally qualify for the AIME)

    • AMC 12 is for grades 11-12 (top 5% nationally qualify for the AIME)

Typically, students take AMC 10/12 B at their schools. However, if their school is not offering the test, they can now take it at UTC. For banks of AMC problems, visit the Art of Problem Solving’s AoPSolving Wiki website.



  • 10,000 students are invited (March)

  • 15 questions in 3 hours, each answer is an integer number 0-999



  • 500 students are invited (April)

  • 6 essay/proof questions in 2 days (9 hours)

  • 12 students are invited to the award ceremony in Washington, DC



  • 50 students are invited: IMO team (6 students), 2 alternates, 17 younger top students, 25 top

  • 3 to 4 weeks (intensive)



  • 6 students represent the USA

  • 6 essay/proof questions in 2 days (9 hours)


Old Math Circle Sessions





Linear Difference Equations and Applications, Part I, Worksheet Solutions

Roger Nichols


Oh the Places You Will Go: Becoming Well-Euled Mathematicians

Debra Mimbs & Laura Singletary (Lee University)


Explicit Methods for Solving Diophantine Equations, Part I, Worksheet Solutions

Andrew Ledoan


Explicit Methods for Solving Diophantine Equations, Part II, Worksheet Solutions

Andrew Ledoan


Mathematical Billiards: Playing Pool with Geometry and Topology

Jason Schmurr (Dalton State)


Adventures in Data Science, Worksheet Solutions

Cuilan (Lani) Gao


Review Session for AMC 10/12 B

Roger Nichols & Andrew Ledoan






Gausss Congruence Relation, Worksheet Solutions

Andrew Ledoan


Analytic Inequalities, Worksheet Solutions

Roger Nichols


Fractal Geometry, Worksheet Solutions

Billy Jackson (UTC)


Data Analysis, Worksheet Solutions

Cuilan (Lani) Gao


The Pigeonhole Principle, Presentation Slides, Pamphlet

Heunggi Park (Covenant College)


Domination in Graphs, Worksheet

Lucas Van der Merwe (UTC)