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2021/2022 Events

In accordance with provincial health and Dalhousie guidelines, physical attendance at these events will require proof of vaccination for people age 12 and over, as of October 4.

Math Circles events at Dal during the 2021/2022 school year

Below is our tentative schedule for upcoming events in the 2021/2022 school year. Events' timing is from 6 - 7:15pm. The events will be hosted via a blended approach, meaning that you can join us in-person, on campus at the Chase Building, or you can join virtually on Zoom.

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

  • For those attending in person, masks will be required at all times.

NOTE: These events will be recorded. 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.

January 26: This event will be online-only, due to the recent surge in Covid-19 cases.
Speaker: Scott Wesley (Dalhousie)

Topic: Similar Shapes and Topological Magic

Abstract: Shapes are all around us. In school, we learn to tell apart different shapes based on their geometric properties. However, we spend little time thinking about the properties that shapes have in common. For example, a circle and a square are not very different if we are allowed to bend the sides! This is known as a topological property, rather than a geometric property. In this monthly event, we will learn about topological properties and how they can be used to solve puzzles. We will also witness some topological magic, such as how to turn a donut into a coffee cup and how to turn a ball inside-out!


Register for January 26

September 22, 6 - 7:15pm. In-person (limited) and online!
Speaker: Dr. Asmita Sodhi (Dalhousie)

Topic: How to Count Votes

Abstract: This sounds like it should be easy—we just ask people who or what they want to vote for, count the votes, and see which option has the most… right? This is one way of counting votes, but this way can leave a lot of people unsatisfied with the winner. There are lots of other ways of voting and counting votes, some of which we'll see in this talk. We'll explore some voting systems, voting paradoxes, and also have a little election of our own!


October 27, 6 - 7:15pm. In-person and online!
Speaker: Jonathan Tot (Dalhousie)

Topic: Mr. Collatz's Marvellous Mathematical Machine

Abstract: We will present the infamous Collatz Conjecture, an unsolved mathematical problem that has perplexed some of the brightest mathematicians in recent decades. Paul Erdos said “Mathematics may not be ready for such problems.” But fear not! The problem is very simple to state; at the core only basic arithmetic on whole numbers is needed, so that the problem could likely be understood by keen grade-schoolers. But the unfolding of the problem leads to very deep questions about the nature of numbers, as well as mesmerizing visuals and endless fun! It all starts with Dr. Collatz's peculiar mathematical operation.


November 24
Speaker: Tom Potter (Dalhousie)

Topic: Tessellations and Symmetry

Abstract: Tessellations are important mathematical objects of intrinsic and immediate beauty. We discuss the basics of tessellations of the plane, count the basic types, and play a fun game to illustrate the difficulties involved in trying to name them. We also see some more unusual tessellations, known as aperiodic tilings, and wrap up by looking at instances of tessellations in design, art, and nature. You will need a pencil, paper, and eraser (colours optional).


December 8
Speaker: Tom Potter (Dalhousie)

Topic: Awesome Algebra and Devious Divisibility

Abstract: Algebra is one of the oldest expressions of mathematics, dating back to the ancient Babylonians, and developed as a subject in its own right by mathematicians like Diophantus and Al-Khwarizmi. Algebra can be considered as the study of mathematical symbols and rules for manipulating these symbols, and this is often understood in the context of equations.

In this presentation we explore some fun number tricks and use algebra to illuminate the mathematics behind these tricks. We also do some number theory, particularly some interesting tricks to determine when a number is divisible by various familiar small numbers. We also get a brief glimpse of modular arithmetic, which will illustrate how algebra can be used to answer questions about numbers. Bring pencil and paper!


February 23
Speaker: Dr. Asmita Sodhi (Dalhousie)

Topic: TBA



March 30
Speaker: Dr. Frank Fu (Dalhousie)

Topic: Fun With Cryptography



April 27
Speakers: Dr. Danielle Cox and Dr. Karyn McLellan (MSVU)

Topic: TBA



May 25
Speaker: TBA

Topic: TBA



June 15
Speaker: TBA

Topic: TBA



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 work it into our repertoire.



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