Week-long maths festival to hold events North and South

Over a quarter of a million people set to enjoy fun events and numerical challenges

Eoin Gill and Sheila Donegan from Maths Week with Jadine Rock of Rutland National School, Dublin,  at the launch of Maths Week Ireland 2017. Photograph Shane O’Neill

Eoin Gill and Sheila Donegan from Maths Week with Jadine Rock of Rutland National School, Dublin, at the launch of Maths Week Ireland 2017. Photograph Shane O’Neill


Maths will take to the streets this year in a week-long series of events that make up Maths Week Ireland, an all-Ireland festival starting next Saturday, October 14th.

Over a quarter of a million people are set to enjoy fun events and numerical challenges in the biggest staging of Maths Week, which is run by a partnership including Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), the Department of Education, universities, institutes of technology, libraries, schools, training colleges and employers.

World-renowned mathematicians will entertain people of all ages with the wonder of maths through fun and interesting talks, games, teasers, challenges and magic maths shows.

Schools and clubs across the country will also run their own events aimed at encouraging young people to have confidence in their maths ability.

Highlights include:

– On-street family fun with Maths in Dublin at St Stephen’s Green (11am to 4.30pm) Saturday, October 14th;

– Maths of the Circus with James Soper, touring various locations;

– William Hamilton walk from Dunsink Observatory, marking the life of Ireland’s greatest mathematician, on October 16th (1.45pm);

Munster Maths and Science Fair in Mallow, Co Cork, on October 15th;

– Hamilton Lecture by renowned mathematician Wendelin Werner on October 16th – booking at www.ria.ie;

–Murderous Maths with Kjartan Poskitt (for primary students) at DCU St Patrick’s Campus, October 17th (11am);

–A lecture on “What have Mathematicians done for us?” from eminent mathematician Prof Chris Budd at Queens University, Belfast on October 20th.

Event details, booking arrangements (if required), updates and activities are available at www.mathsweek.ie

“Maths Week is a fantastic initiative which allows people of all ages to see and understand the importance of maths and the wider Stem [science, technology, engineering and maths] agenda through fun, interesting, challenging activities during the week-long festival,” said Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton.

Solve problems

He said part of an ambition to make Ireland’s education service the best in Europe within a decade was equipping learners to think independently and logically and to solve problems. “Maths is a subject that develops both abilities, and these skills are key to engaging in our ever-changing world.”

Dr Ruth Freeman, SFI director of strategy and communications, said the week was a key element of its focus on Stem-related skills development.

“The promotion of mathematical and numerical skills is essential for everyone in our society and economy. It’s particularly important for young people and students to have an appreciation of maths as a subject that can help them throughout their lives, and create many exciting opportunities for them.

“Maths and numeracy underpin studies and careers across virtually every industry and sector; they are critical enablers of innovation and success.”

Maths Week Ireland co-ordinator Eoin Gill said more than one million people have engaged with Maths Week Ireland from young children to adults, which is helping strongly to promote a more positive attitude towards maths – this is the 12th staging of the festival which is co-ordinated by the Calmast facility at Waterford Institute of Technology.


“People can find maths a bit intimidating but it doesn’t have to be,” Dr Gill said, “Maths and numbers are all around us from adding up food items on a menu, getting quotes from home providers and right up the line to the skills that we need to run businesses, invent new technologies and drive our economy.”

Meanwhile, Space Week continues until Tuesday, October 10th, with events all over the country. See www.spaceweek.ie for the remaining programme of events.