Maths Week Ireland kicks off next week

Maths Week
(L-R) Daria Misiolek, Lucas Clarke, Royette Fabros, Alex Martin, Anthony Hyland and Andrea Reina-Correia. Picture Conor McCabe Photography

400,000 people to participate in festival of maths and numeracy

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11 October 2019 | 0

Maths Week Ireland 2019 kicks off on 12 October. Now in its 14th year, the event raises awareness and appreciation for maths and numeracy.

As the world’s largest maths festival, Maths Week Ireland is expected to attract more than 400,000 participants.

The festivities will begin in Belfast on October 12 with Maths in the City in Victoria Square. Mallow, Co. Cork will host the Munster Maths and Science Fair on Sunday, 13 October.

Maths in the City will arrive in Dublin on 19 October. The street maths spectacle will take place in College Green plaza. Festivities will come to a close the following day in the Botanic Gardens, Dublin with the Celebration of Mind at the Pumpkin Festival.

As well as heralding the benefits of maths and numeracy, this year’s event will highlight the role mathematics plays in climate change and sports.

The work of legendary Irish mathematician, George Gabriel Stokes will be celebrated at this year’s festival. It has been 200 years since Stokes’ birth, but his work is still applied to climate change research today.

Croke Park will host several events to emphasise the relationship between maths and sports. Speakers include Dr Aoife Hunt, who uses maths and statistics to understand the behaviour of large crowds at sports stadiums; researcher Kevin O’Brien who will explain how maths wins matches and the use of maths-based technology in sport; and Ravi Vakaria, GAA operations lead for Hawkeye, who will explore how ball tracking has changed decision making in sport.

Maths Week is funded through the SFI Discover Programme, Department of Education and Skills, Department for the Economy Northern Ireland and Xilinx and co-ordinated by Calmast, Waterford Institute of Technology’s STEM Engagement Centre. It has more than 50 partner organisations including; universities, institutes of technology, libraries, schools, training colleges, visitor centres and employers.

This year’s programme of events was launched by Joe McHugh, Minister for Education and Skills, Dr Ruth Freeman, director of science for society, Science Foundation Ireland, Dr Sheila Donegan of Maths Week Ireland and pupils from St. Christopher’s Primary School in Dublin.

“Maths underpins every aspect of life in Ireland. It is a driver of the STEM skills and innovation that we need for a successful, vibrant, competitive and growing economy. Fundamentally, Maths Week helps people to increase their confidence and numerical literacy, which can greatly improve everyday lives,” said Dr Ruth Freeman, Director of Science for Society, Science Foundation Ireland.

A key message for parents is to encourage an interest in maths and numeracy from an early age and also to encourage older students to do the absolute best they can at maths throughout their school lives,” said Dr Sheila Donegan, Maths Week Ireland. “Disciplines such as engineering, science, computing, finance, economics, accountancy, management and many others all have a mathematical basis, and it’s essential to supply these sectors with the right skills.” 

Some Maths Week 2019 events include:

  • Maths in the City, Victoria Square, Belfast, October 12.
  • Murderous Maths at The Helix, DCU, October 14.
  • Math-a-magic, Cavan Institute, October 15.
  • Bubbly Maths, Birr Castle, Offaly, October 15.
  • The Maths of Climate Change and Weather Forecasting, National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2, 15.
  • Maths Museum of Catalonia, Blackrock Castle Observatory, Cork, October 16.
  • Mind your Money, budgeting for primary school pupils in Waterford IT, October 17.
  • The Mathematical Life of George Gabriel Stokes, National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2, 17.
  • Maths in the City, Bank of Ireland College Green, October 19.
  • Celebration of Mind, Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, October 20.

For more information, visit www.mathsweek.ie.

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