Do the Math: annual event adds to sum of citizens’ knowledge

Hundreds of events aim to entertain and fascinate young and old during Maths Week

At the launch of Maths Week 2013 were pupils from St Brigid’s Primary School and St Mary’s Boys’ National School, Dublin - Anshika Gupta, Mathew Hall Fitzsimons and Callum Goad - with Minister of State for Innovation and Research Sean Sherlock.  Photograph: Conor McCabe Photography

At the launch of Maths Week 2013 were pupils from St Brigid’s Primary School and St Mary’s Boys’ National School, Dublin - Anshika Gupta, Mathew Hall Fitzsimons and Callum Goad - with Minister of State for Innovation and Research Sean Sherlock. Photograph: Conor McCabe Photography

Fri, Oct 11, 2013, 11:35

The eighth annual Maths Week gets under way tomorrow, with hundreds of events planned through the week across Ireland, North and South. So far, more than 83,000 students have signed up for Maths Week events, with the emphasis on making maths entertaining and interesting.

Minister of State for Innovation and Research Sean Sherlock officially launched the week this morning, encouraging the public to attend one of the lectures, displays, presentations and demonstrations on offer.

The Department of Education and Skills is a major supporter of the overall event and believes it pays dividends. The Government is committed to developing a knowledge economy and initiatives such as Maths Week can help support this, Mr Sherlock said.

Students sat exams in all strands of the Project Maths initiative this year, and it is hoped this will work through towards a stronger performance in maths for Irish students. “I was particularly pleased with the increased proportion of students opting for higher level Maths. There was also an increase in the uptake of higher level Science,” Mr Sherlock said.

Maths Week events in Ireland are expected to attract 150,000 people, making the week the largest occasion of its kind in the world. It offers items of interest to children and adults alike, with events taking place in venues such as local libraries and museum, universities and institutes.

“Maths Week is all about promoting a positive image of maths,” said Eoin Gill, Maths Week Ireland co-ordinator. “We really hope that people of all ages will take part in Maths Week events, or even just have a go at some of our teasers and puzzles.”

The main kick-off takes place tomorrow in St Stephen’s Green from 11am. Maths in the City will see passersby entertained by maths presenters including mathemagician Andrew Jeffrey, Bubblz the Mathematical Clown and Paco Gomez.

Maths Week 2013 takes place from October 12th to 20th and is a fun all-island festival for the promotion of maths in everyday life. Co-ordinated by Calmast (Centre for the Advancement of Learning Maths, Science and technology) at Waterford Institute of Technology, Maths Week Ireland is run as a partnership of over 50 institutions and groups who are committed to promoting an interest in mathematics.

Highlights include:

*Maths in the City on Dublin’s Grafton Street tomorrow and in Belfast next Saturday, October 19th.

*A talk by Keith Devlin on Maths and gaming in the National Concert Hall on Monday, October 14th.

* Maths’ greatest unsolved puzzles in UCC.

* Bubbles the Mathematical Clown at Waterford Institute of Technology.

* Maths and Rhythm in Marino College, Dublin and

* The Maths Magic Show with Mathemagician Andrew Jeffrey in Dublin, Letterkenny and Universities of Ulster Coleraine and Magee.

For more events visit: mathsweek.ie