Maths Week – What is it; What can I expect?

Author: Dan Keating/14 October 2017/Categories: Leaving Cert, Junior Cert

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Find out what you can expect from Maths Week this year

Maths Week – What is it; What can I expect?

What is it?


Maths Week is an all-Ireland effort to raise interest in mathematics and show people, particularly students, that the subject isn’t as intimidating as it seems. Every year in mid-October, maths-related events take place across this country and in Northern Ireland.

2016 saw the 10th anniversary of this festival of maths (think Father Ted and the “festival of sheep” but more educational!), involving all the universities and institutes of technology and dozens of companies and other bodies. Based on previous years, more than 250,000 students and adults will take part in at least one of this year’s events.


How does Ireland’s Maths Week rank internationally?

According to Irish academics, the festival is the largest event of its kind worldwide. Over the past decade, more than one million people have engaged with Maths Week Ireland, mainly primary and post-primary children, as part of the organisers’ drive to help Ireland’s young people have a more positive attitude towards maths.

We estimate that as approximately 15% of Ireland’s population; i.e. 15% of Irish people have now been part of the event in some way.


Watch a free Unknown Coefficient Leaving Certificate Maths Tutorial.

What can I expect?

Organisers recognise that to the majority of our population, maths is about numbers; but they know it is about much more. Accordingly, they tease participants with mathematical problems.  For example, What three positive numbers give the same result whether multiplied or added together?*

Past Maths Week events have included themed talks; topical debates – such as mathematician, concert pianist and baker Dr Eugenia Cheng arguing that if you can bake you can do maths; group-based tackling of uniquely Irish mathematical problems – the budget, USC, Government debt, etc.; watching ‘mathemagician’ Andrew Jeffrey show how maths can make people believe in mind reading and psychic abilities; and so much more. The options are infinite, in fact!

For more information on Maths Week and how you can participate at your convenience, check out and get working Maths Week out.

*Still scratching your head? The three numbers are 1, 2 and 3; they give the result 6 whether they’re added together or multiplied.

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