Maths Week to kick off on 12 October – events for everyone all over Ireland

1 Oct 2013

Anshika Gupta, Callum Goad and Mathew Hall Fitzsimons, students from St Brigid's Primary School and St Mary's Boys' National School in Dublin, take part in the launch of Maths Week 2013. Image via Conor McCabe Photography

More than 200 events, ranging from maths family fun at a pumpkin festival to ‘mathemagicians’ and mathematical clowns who will aim to entertain via their magical formulas, will take place across the island of Ireland for this year’s Maths Week.

Maths Week will run from 12-20 October, inclusive. Most of its events are free.

Maths Week Ireland, which is co-ordinating the multi-location event, anticipates that around 150,000 people could participate in events during this year’s festival.

The goal is to promote maths for everyone.

Pooling of minds to create the all-island event

Co-ordinated by Calmast at Waterford Institute of Technology, Maths Week Ireland is run as a partnership of more than 50 public and private-sector institutions and groups, including the universities and institutes of technology, professional bodies, libraries and visitor centres, as well as many employers.  

Séan Sherlock TD, Minister of State for Innovation and Research, officially launched the event in Dublin earlier today. He spoke about how maths is a vital skill for everyone.

“As an economy, it’s critical that we encourage young people to try hard at maths and to understand the importance of maths in opening up a wide range of career opportunities.

“I am delighted to support Maths Week as a great way of changing public perception of maths and increasing our mathematical literacy. I’d encourage everyone, young and not so young, to come along to one of the Maths Week events.”

Event highlights include ‘Maths in the City’ in Dublin’s St Stephen’s Green on Saturday, 12 October, and again in Belfast on 19 October.

In Cork, meanwhile, the Mallow Maths and Science Fair will run on Sunday, 13 October.

US maths-education ‘guru’ Prof Keith Devlin will also be in Dublin to talk to young people about maths and gaming in the National Concert Hall on Monday, 14 October.

For adults and the gaming community, Devlin will deliver a talk in Science Gallery Dublin that same evening.

More Maths Week events

Many of the 200 events are being hosted by Maths Week partners.

There will be Mathsfest conference for hundreds of teachers in University College Dublin on 12 October, and a plethora of both Irish-based and international mathematicians taking part in events around the island.

Such maths gurus will be aiming to bring maths to life for people of all ages through maths games, teasers, challenges and magic maths shows.

Bubbles the Mathematical Clown will be in Waterford Institute of Technology on 15 October to entertain people about maths.

Mathemagician Andrew Jeffrey will be hosting the Maths Magic Show in Letterkenny, Co Donegal, on 15 October, and again in Dublin on 17 October.

And, in the lead-up to Halloween, there will be maths family fun at the Pumpkin Festival at the National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin, Dublin, on 20 October.

‘Maths and Rhythm’ will feature in Marino College, Dublin, on 16 October.

‘Maths Week has something for all levels’ – says event co-ordinator

“During the week we hope to help people of all ages to understand how helpful a good understanding of maths can be in their everyday lives,” said Eoin Gill, co-ordinator of Maths Week Ireland.

“People often have a notion that their brain isn’t configured for maths. Once they believe that, it is hard for them to flourish. The reality is that while not everyone can score an A1 in higher-level maths, everyone can succeed at maths if we have a more ‘positive’ attitude. Maths Week has something for all levels,” he said.

This will be the eighth Maths Week.

“Maths Week Ireland is now the leading festival of its kind in the world. It is a great example of what can be achieved in Ireland when groups work together pursuing a common interest,” Gill said.

Activities will also be available on for those who can’t make it to an event.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic