New Students

SDMC's application period for the 2020-2021 season has closed.

Returning students should proceed according to a separate process HERE and new students should continue as explained below.

Owing to the realities of life under pandemic conditions, SDMC, has been forced to adapt. For the foreseeable future - very likely for most or all of our 2020-2021 season - SDMC will operate online only, with no in-person activities. We have been experimenting with online activities for some months now under the banner of "Virtual San Diego Math Circle" or "vSDMC" - you can find information about vSDMC under that heading in the navigation sidebar at left. We will be trying to continue the next season in some similar fashion. The only certainty is that the future is very uncertain.


The following sets out an important difference in our approach to new student applications this season:

Our traditional application process: We target each of our ability groups to be of a size that is compatible with the physical facilities we normally use on the UCSD campus - we have to "fit" in the classrooms and we have to be able to conduct orderly classes and activities. These are physical constraints that limit how many new students we able to admit after making allowance for the number of students returning from the previous season.

What's different this season: Because the pandemic will someday end, we must still identify a "core" of students that is of size and composition compatible with the constraints of physical space. But while conducting activities primarily online, we may be able to expand the student body that can be reached effectively. Thus, we anticipate possibly admitting some number of "at-large" members - these would be students that we do not expect to be able to include within our in-person activities (except perhaps for some special events), but who we can accommodate via the web.

What's the different between "core" and "at large"? While operating as "vSDMC", there may be little functional difference, or perhaps we will evolve some differentiated program for at-large members if that seems appropriate - this is part of the uncertainty of the times. But once the pandemic is over and in-person activities resume, it does seem likely that some form of differentiated program may be developed so that at-large members have some continuing program, primarily online, while core members have their program primarily on site and in person. We can't know at this time what such a continuing mostly-online program might be like - more uncertainty.

"Core" or "at-large"? By default, we will consider all newly-applied students for core membership as long as space is available to do so. If/when core space is filled, we will rollover to consideration of at-large membership. If you are in circumstances that would preclude participating consistently in in-person activities (e.g., scheduling problems or transportation challenges), please tell us that you prefer at-large membership as a first choice - this will be helpful for us to know up front.

Is membership type permanent? Not necessarily. Life circumstances may favor a student shifting from core to at-large, or capacity changes may allow for an at-large student to shift to core. This may not make much difference while activities are all online, but it could be significant in our post-pandemic world when in-person activities become possible again. Such shifts have functional impact on our program, and would have to have SDMC approval on a case-by-case basis.


Like many other aspects of SDMC, application is a family matter. To assist both students and parents in understanding and completing this process, we provide two PowerPoint/PDF presentations immediately below. We recommend that parents especially take time to review both of these presentations before beginning.

You may notice that these PowerPoint/PDF links are the only registration-specific links for new students now on the website. This is not an error. Please follow the directions as spelled out in "How to Apply".

SDMC Background (*.pptx version)

SDMC Background (*.pdf version)

How to Apply (*.pptx version)

How to Apply (*.pdf version)

SDMC Liability Waiver

In brief, application is based on

  1. submission of the required Liability Waiver,

  2. the development of a Student Profile document,

  3. providing a student Headshot Photo.

We ask that you be patient and diligent in following directions as closely and completely as possible, as following up on errors and omissions in hundreds of applications is simply impossible.

Thank you!