Maths Problem
Dec 02 2015 Posted: 10:41 GMT

When and Where

The Mathematics Enrichment Course and related optional assessments will be held on the following Saturdays in 2016 from 11am to 2pm; see also note 1 below:

      • January 16 (table quiz fun!)
      • January 23
      • January 30
      • February 6
      • February 13
      • February 27; see note 2 below
      • March 5
      • March 12
      • April 2 (local 2.5 hour Olympiad exam); see note 3 below
      • April 23 (Irish Olympiad exam -- two 3-hour papers; see )
    • NOTE 1: The dates listed ensure that no classes/tests take place around mid-term break in secondary schools (February 15-19) nor during Easter break in schools (March 17-April 1)
    • NOTE 2: Participating girls should be aware that during the Enrichment Training class of 27th February, the European Girls' Maths Olympiad (EGMO) selection exam (see will be held at the same time. Girls who plan to write this exam should meet at 11am in AC216 and will be taken to a nearby room to write the 3-hour paper
    • NOTE 3: Students who write the local Olympiad exam (e.g. to help them decide if they wish to write the Irish Olympiad exam) but who live outside of Galway City may if they wish arrange to write the exam from their homes

The location of the sessions will be AC216. This room is located in the Geography area of the Arts/Science Concourse Building and is quite close to the Bank of Ireland on campus. Click on the following Interactive Campus Map.

No booking is required to attend Enrichment classes, and it is not even necessary to have participated in the 29th IrMO--Round 1 exam held during 9-13 Nov 2015. We do ask parents to ensure that students travel safely, especially those coming from afar.

The sessions are given by highly experienced lecturers from the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics at NUI Galway. Since the classes are somewhat independent of each other in content, a student who misses any given session can still follow the ensuing classes.

The first session on 16th January 2016 will consist of problem solving in which participants will be divided into teams and encouraged to cooperate in thinking creatively to solve mathematical puzzles that generally require creativity. The problems are designed to stimulate student interest and logical thought processes for the sessions that then ensue. A local examination will take place on April 2 and this might help students decide if they feel they should attempt the 29th Irish Mathematical Olympiad (IrMO) final round contest which will be held on April 23 (two 3-hour papers Students who have been invited to attend enrichment classes at NUI Galway should note that they can, if they prefer, attend at a centre geographically closer to them. Thus for example, students from North Donegal are welcome to attend at UCD (see for the schedule of UCD's enrichment classes).

What is it about?

The theme of the course is mathematical problem solving. This means creating original deductive arguments to establish mathematical facts. We will study problems whose solution requires inventive thinking rather than applying known techniques. While there will be some mathematical theory introduced, the emphasis will be on solving problems rather than accumulating theory. Problems from various areas of mathematics will be discussed, including geometry, combinatorics, number theory, graph theory and algebra. Sessions are run by academic mathematicians from the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics at NUI Galway. There is no particular connection to the second level curriculum.

Who is it for?

Students from the senior cycle of second level (transition year and above) are invited to attend the Enrichment Course. If you enjoy mathematics at school, if you enjoy mathematical or logical puzzles, if you like to find satisfying explanations of mathematical phenomena, this course might be for you. Highly mathematically interested students in their junior cycle could also be involved because most problems require a good understanding of basic mathematical facts and the ability to think logically, but no specialised knowlwsge is needed.

What can I do with it?

You can just enjoy the challenge of mathematical problem solving, if you like. You can use this course to explore your interest in studying mathematics at third level at NUI Galway or elsewhere, or you can take part in mathematical problem solving contests.

For Further Information send an email to Jerome Sheahan

Jerome Sheahan

Mathematics, Statistics & Applied Mathematics