The Mercer County Math Circle, or (MC)², is a mathematics program for high school and middle school students. The sessions take place on Saturday afternoons on the 3rd floor of the Princeton Public Library in Princeton, NJ.

The program is run by students from the Princeton Undergraduate Math Club as well as community members. Our goal is to promote mathematics among the community through engaging talks and fun activities.

We will send out email announcements before each session. You should register in order to receive our announcements.

Advanced and Recreational Math Series

(MC)² is broken up into two groups.

The Advanced Math Series is aimed at high school students (although advanced middle school students are welcome as well). Talks are given by Princeton students and other community members, and cover a wide range of topics outside of the traditional high school curriculum, such as topology, number theory, and combinatorics.

  • intended for: high school students (grade 9 – 12)
  • when:  second and fourth Saturday of each month, 2 pm – 3 pm
  • difficulty: varies (see below)

The Recreational Math Series, designed for anyone with a basic understanding of algebra, will integrate lectures with hands-on activities to illustrate how seemingly simple games and puzzles lay the foundation for many advanced topics in mathematics.  Presenters will include Princeton University students and members of the community.

  • intended for: middle and high school students (grade 6 – 12)
  • when:  second Saturday of each month, 3 pm – 4 pm (after the Advanced Session)
  • difficulty: should be accessible to middle school students

Difficulty of the Advanced Sessions

For the Advanced Math Series, we ask each speaker to evaluate the difficulty of his/her talk. We will borrow the “chili pepper scale” used at Mathcamp:

Each class has a “chili rating” to indicate its difficulty and pace: from “one-chili” (accessible to everyone) to “four-chili” (very advanced). The “one-chili” classes aren’t any less interesting than the “four-chili” classes — they just move at a more relaxed pace and assume less mathematical experience. (We like to say that in a “one-chili” class, every student has the right to follow what’s going on all the time; in a “four-chili” class, the strongest students have the right to be challenged at all times.)


For (MC)², a one-chili talk should be accessible to all high school students.


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