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2022/2023 Events

Math Circles events at Dal during the 2022/2023 school year

Below is our tentative schedule for upcoming events in the 2022/2023 school year. Events' timing is from 6:30pm - 7:45pm. For events with in-person attendance, we plan to serve pizza at 6:00pm.

This year, we plan to host events in a variety of formats. Some events will be on campus at the Chase Building, while some may be online-only, and some may have the option to attend either in-person or online. This will allow presenters flexibility to present in a way that's successful for them.

These workshops are appropriate for junior to senior high students, but an advanced elementary student could benefit as well.

NOTE: These events will be recorded over Zoom. The videos will be posted as unlisted items on our YouTube channel, which means that only those with the link can view them.

Check out past events HERE.

March 29, 6:00 - 7:45pm (Pizza at 6, presentation at 6:30)
~~~In-person with option to attend online~~~
Speaker: Dr. Dongho Lee (Dalhousie)

Topic: Definability and Games

Abstract: In this workshop, we will be looking into a question in Finite Model theory regarding definability. Model theory is a branch of mathematical logic which studies the relationship between the formal theories and their models. Finite Model Theory concerns, in particular, the models of the finite universe and it has nice relationships with database and complexity theory. In the first part of the presentation, we will be introduced to an example of (first-order) theory and its (relational) model. We will then ask what (Boolean) properties of models can be defined as a formula in first-order logic. In the second part, Ehrenfeucht-Fraïssé Game will be introduced and we will see how Ehrenfeucht-Fraïssé theorem helps us show that some properties are not definable in first-order logic.


Register for March 29


April 26, 6:30 - 7:45pm.
Speaker: Erick Lee (HRCE)

Topic: Thinking Recursively with Art and Games

Abstract: Recursion can be found in art, mathematics, games and even computer programming. What is recursion? Join us to find out. We'll explore the concept of recursion while making art with paper and scissors as well as playing a recursive game. We'll also talk about the famous Fibonacci Sequence and how it can be modeled with mathematics.


May 24, 6:30 - 7:45pm.
Speaker: Drs. Danielle Cox & Karyn McLellan (MSVU)

Topic: TBA

Abstract: TBA


June 21, 6:30 - 7:45pm.
Speaker: Thiago de Holleben (Dalhousie) (Tentative)

Topic: TBA

Abstract: TBA

March 1, 6:00 - 7:45pm (Pizza at 6, presentation at 6:30)
~~~In-person with option to attend online~~~
Speaker: Dr. Hector Baños Cervantes (Dalhousie)

Topic: What is Graph Theory, and what makes it so interesting?

Abstract: Graph Theory is not just a fun area of mathematics, it is also applied everywhere in real life. This includes applications in biology, linguistics, physics, helping solve crimes, improving air traffic, and many others. Graph theory is the study of graphs, which are mathematical structures used to model pairwise relations between objects. In this presentation, we will learn the basics of graph theory as well as some of its fascinating problems.



January 25, 6:00 - 7:45pm (Pizza at 6, presentation at 6:30)
~~~In-person with option to attend online~~~
Speaker: Sarah Meng Li

Topic: A beginner's guide to algorithms: demystifying the RSA cryptosystem

Abstract: Algorithms are everywhere.

An algorithm is a series of step-by-step instructions to carry out a task or solve a problem. For example, a cake recipe is an algorithm for baking. At school, you have learned algorithms such as the procedures for adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing numbers. What are other usages of algorithms in real life?

For instance, RSA (Rivest-Shamir-Adleman) is a public-key cryptosystem that is widely used for secure data transmission in email and other digital transactions. In this workshop, we will demystify the RSA cryptosystem by first introducing you to two beautiful yet fundamental algorithms that were proposed over two thousand years ago: the Euclidean algorithm and the extended Euclidean algorithm. Then we will walk you through the procedure of RSA, after which you could perform encryption and decryption of information safely against some malicious cyber attacks.


December 14, 6:00 - 7:45pm (Pizza at 6, presentation at 6:30)
~~~In-person with option to attend online~~~
Speaker: Cali Park (University of Alberta) and Tom Potter (Dalhousie)

Topic: Exploring Probability — Part 2

Abstract: In this presentation, we continue to explore probability through several fun activities. We will finish our exploration of the binomial distribution in Plinko from last time. We will explore a Monte Carlo method for approximating pi, known as the Buffon needle problem. We will also do a die-rolling activity to demonstrate the nature of randomness. Lastly, if time permits, we will explore some veridical paradoxes (results that seem absurd or untrue yet can be shown to be true) that involve probability.

For those attending on Zoom, to actively participate in the Buffon needle activity, you will need some paper, a straightedge, and some toothpicks of equal length. A die to roll or a coin to toss is also needed. There is also one handout that will be sent by email.


November 30, 6:00 - 7:45pm (Pizza at 6, presentation at 6:30)
~~~In-person with option to attend online~~~
Speaker: Cali Park (University of Alberta) and Tom Potter (Dalhousie)

Topic: Exploring Probability — Part 1

Abstract: Probability underlies many aspects of our day-to-day life. In this talk, we explore what probability is and how it appears in daily occurrences. We define probability, sample space, and mutually exclusive events, and show how to determine the probability of a basic outcome. We briefly discuss the axioms of probability. Then we'll play Probability Dice-Bingo and discuss the likelihood of a given Dice-Bingo card winning. Lastly, we explore normal distributions and probability in the game Plinko from the popular gameshow The Price is Right.

For those attending on Zoom, there may be some handouts you'll need to print or sketch. These will be sent by email before the event.


October 26, 6:00 - 7:45pm (Pizza at 6, presentation at 6:30)
~~~In-person with option to attend online~~~
Speaker: Tom Potter (Dalhousie)

Topic: Toads and Frogs

Abstract: Toads & Frogs is a game that is easy to play and fun to explore. We will find the number of moves needed to solve the game, and discover more about number patterns within the game. If attending online, you will need something to write on, like a notepad or whiteboard. If in person, we will supply everything!


Topic Ideas?

If you have a request for topics, please contact us. If you have a topic or idea that appeals to you, let us help you explore it! Email our team at and we will try to work it into our repertoire.



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