Friday, January 5, 2018

2018 AMC 10/12 B at Bard College

Join us at Bard College on Thursday, February 15, 2018 for the AMC 10/12 B contests. The event starts at 4 pm and will finish by 7 pm. After the contest, students will be treated to refreshments and a mathematical conversation hosted by the Bard Math Circle.
REGISTER for free on our Eventbrite page!

Friday, December 15, 2017

2017 AMC 8 Results

Brief report of the AMC 8 results at Bard College:

We offered the AMC 8 Exam at Bard College on November 14, 2017, followed by an engaging math talk on Some Binary Amusements, presented by Bard math professor Japheth Wood.

You can find detailed solutions here:

Total number of participating students: 31
School Team Score (sum of top 3 scores): 53.0
Average score for entire school is: 10.0
Average score for grade 8 is: 9.9
Average score for grade 7 is: 5.0
Average score for grade 6 is: 12.3
Average score for grade 5 is: 8.0
Average score for grade 4 is: 16.0

Top scores at Bard:
21 (8th grader)
16 (8th grader)
16 (6th grader)
16 (4th grader)
15 (8th grader)
15 (8th grader)
15 (6th grader)

Schools represented:
Acadia Middle School, Clifton Park (1)
Brinkerhoff Elementary School, Wappingers (1)
Christian Brothers Academy, Albany (8)
Craig School, Mountain Lakes, NJ 07046 (1)
Gayhead Elementary School, Hopewell Junction (3)
Haviland Middle School, Hyde Park (1)
High Meadow School, Stone Ridge (1)
Highland Middle School, Highland (1)
Homeschool (2)
J Watson Bailey Middle School, Kingston (6)
Linden Avenue Middle School, Red Hook (2)
Meadow Hill School, Newburgh (1)
Mill Road Elementary, Red Hook (2)
Montessori school of the Berkshires (1)

Have a great holiday season, and we hope to see you in 2018!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

2017 AMC 8 Contest at Bard College

The Bard Math Circle is proud to offer the AMC 8 exam on November 14, 2017. This contest is intended to challenge middle school students with accessible mathematical concepts, but at a level that is above and beyond what is typically encountered in the school curriculum.
This activity is offered at no cost, but due to limited space, registration is required in advance. Parents or guardians must agree to a liability waiver and photo release for their child to participate.

Following the contest, participants will be treated to an engaging math talk by Bard Mathematician Japheth Wood. The entire program will run from 4:30pm - 6:30pm at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY.

Please register as early as you can. We have limited space and you will be waitlisted if space fills up and we are unable to accommodate you.

Prepare for the AMC 8 with us!

Before the contest, join us for AMC 8 prep sessions, led by Bard undergraduate math majors. The sessions will take place on the weekends leading up to the AMC 8 contest, and will be held on the Bard College campus.

If you are not able to take the AMC 8 contest at Bard, but would still like to attend the prep sessions, please email us at bardmathcircle @

About AMC 8

The AMC 8 is a 25-question, 40-minute, multiple choice examination in middle school mathematics designed to promote the development and enhancement of problem-solving skills. The contest is held in November every year.

Purpose of the AMC 8

The AMC 8 provides an opportunity for middle school students to develop positive attitudes towards analytical thinking and mathematics that can assist in future careers by applying classroom learned skills to unique problem-solving challenges in a low-stress and friendly environment.


It costs approximately $500 (and plenty of volunteer time) for us to run this event. Your donation will help the Bard Math Circle continue to offer this event free of charge.
  1. Visit
  2. Fill in the gift form. Be sure to select "Bard Math Circle" from the drop down list.
  3. Send us an email at to inform us of your donation.
Thanks for supporting math enrichment in the Mid-Hudson Valley!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

C.A.M.P.2017 Day 5


Today is the last day of C.A.M.P. 2017!  Our morning started out with a Rubik's Cube mosaic, a game of SET, a game of NIM, and some AMC 8 problems.  We then had morning announcements and  split up into different classes at 9:30.

In math class, we started by analyzing The  Baffling Prediction, a trick that Frances performed at the end of class on Thursday. We used algebraic notation to figure out how/why the trick works. Then, we learned a quick method to figure out whether or not any number is divisible by 11. Finally, we ended class with a fun but frustrating trick. The students were paired up and attached by looping one rope through another and putting both ropes around both students' wrists. The goal was to detach the ropes from one another without cutting the ropes or removing the ropes from their wrists. Frances did not  share the solution with the students so that they can continue working on the solution at home.

Today Matt began the class by setting a goal that all students were supposed to reach by the end of the class. the goal was to write a program implementing one of the  tricks learned int he Math class. Since the task was very complex, Matt encouraged students to divide it into smaller subtasks and solve them successfully. This exercise was supposed to show the students a very common approach to problem solving Computer Science. This assignment also required students to use all the knowledge and skills acquired throughout the past week.  Despite no one succeeding in implementing the  trick, everyone did really well, proving that this past week was indeed a very fruitful one!

Starting at 3 was the open house for parents!  The art projects that the students have been working on all week were on display in RKC 101, the Computer Science displays were in RKC 100, and the math lessons that the students studied throughout the week were in the RKC lobby where students could perform the magic tricks to their parents.

Blog by Maya Schwartz, Marysia Tran, and Kate Blaine.

Friday, September 1, 2017

C.A.M.P. 2017 Day 4


Our morning started off with AMC 8 prep questions, card games such as SET and tongues, a Rubik's cube mosaic, and NIM.  The Rubik's cube mosaic was pac man and four ghosts.  Students played these activities until 9:30, when it was time to go to class.

In math class, we started by analyzing the trick that Frances performed on the previous day using Fibonacci sequences. The students used algebraic notation to analyze the trick. We also learned a quick method to multiply any number by 11. The next trick we learned was the 3 Button Trick. In this trick, the spectator switches the positions of 3 buttons, telling the magician about each switch. Then the  spectator chooses a special button, and silently switches the  other 2. The spectator continues switching as before, until they decide to stop. Then the magician guesses which button was the chosen one. The students  analyzed this trick using diagrams in order to see how the trick works. Finally, Frances performed a trick called The Baffling Prediction to close out class.

The Computer Science class again started with a quick revision of all commands and terms learned so far. This is a necessary practice, as what students learn everyday builds upon the knowledge acquired in the previous days. After making sure everyone was ready to learn new things, Matt introduced students to fun commands such as mousePressed, mouseX, and mouseY. These commands allowed students to make their code more interactive and their animations more responsive. All students made sure to take advantage of this powerful tool.

In Art today, some students opted to use their color explorations from day 3 to construct interesting patterns, sequences, collages, and shapes. The idea was to exploit different gradients of color in order to establish an interesting visual effect. One of the nice things with this project is that since each student focused on only a few color tones, the project gave students the chance to share vastly different colors with each other, which was nice to see. On the other hand, many students painted and perfected their own clay models, crafting small boxes to carry them in. One of the most satisfying things for us to see was that even the creators of these geometric puzzles struggled to put them back together! We can't wait to see how their friends and family react.

Afternoon activities were Rubik's  cube, juggling, and Origami.

C.A.M.P. 2017 Day 3


Today was our third day of Bard Math CAMP 2017!  Our day started off with distributing t-shirts at check-in because today was picture day!  We all gathered for a picture at 9:30 right outside the RKC.

In math class, we found a number pattern that allowed us to divide any whole number by 9 without using a calculator. After Frances performed a trick using only numbers at the end of yesterday's class, everyone had a chance to think about how it works that evening at home. Then today, we used the number pattern and algebraic notation (a new concept!) to explain why the trick works for any multi-digit number. Later, we learned about  the Fibonacci sequence, and Frances performed a trick for the  class where the students made their own Fibonacci sequence and Frances guessed the sum knowing only one number of the sequence.

In Computer Science class students learned two powerful framework methods – setup and draw. These methods allow one to specify which commands should be executed once and which should be run repeatedly. In result students were able to play around with their code and create small animations. This was undeniabley the most exciting part of the class for the majority of the students!

During Art class, we gave the students a first introduction to color theory, describing different complementary colors and how artists use this idea to achieve colors they see in real life. After having them choose two tones with which to experiment, the kids created an assortment of squares that were all colored with their own various experiments. Outside of class, students have been building Rubik's cube mosaics, but now they also have an assortment of small squares built out of colors they created for themselves. Hmm...

 Afternoon activities were Rubik's cube, juggling, and recess games.  Recess games included games such as freeze tag, dude, zip-zap-zop, 21, and what time is it mama bear.

Blog by Maya Schwartz, Kate Blaine, Marysia Tran, and Andres Mejia

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

C.A.M.P. 2017 Day 2


Our day started off with activities such as SET, NIM, and a Rubik's cube mosaic.  The design for the Rubik's cube mosaic was the superman logo.  We then split into our  two groups and went to computer science class and math class.

We started our class by figuring out the magic tricks that we had learned on day one.  the class then proceeded to learn the penny trick.  The penny trick is where the magician puts at least 15 pennies on a table in the shape of a "9."  the audience member has a tiny piece of paper and picks a number between 7 and however number of pennies there are.  They then start at the bottom of the 9 and count up first, up to the number they have chosen, and then around, again, counting up to the number they have chosen.  after they reach their destination penny, they place the piece of paper under the penny.  The magician, who has looked away the entire time, guesses the correct penny the piece of paper is under.

In the computer science class the students first reviewed all the Processing commands learned the day before. Then they learned more commands and got a little bit more familiar with the software. They were also introduced to the concept of variables in Computer Science. Finally, they modified the code that they were working on yesterday using variables to see how useful they are. Some of them got really creative with their drawings!

For art, the students continued to work on their clay pieces, which were in what Susie called the "leather-hard" stage of development. One difficulty in this stage was that when the clay dries, it shrinks slightly. Students rose to the challenge both mathematically and artistically, either using tools to smooth out the edges of their shapes so that they fit, or creating new shapes to place in the gaps created by the shrinkage.

After this, some students began using cardboard or wood to create small frames for their shapes to fit into, while others opted to try creating new puzzles. In either case, it was exciting to see that they were more familiar with how to work with the materials they were given and also thinking more carefully about how they wanted to craft their puzzles.

Afternoon activities today were a hike to Blithewood Gardens, Rubik's Cube, and paper folding.
Blog by Maya Schwartz, Kate Blaine, Marysia Tran, and Andres Mejia