OpenDay2013.jpgMaths Circles Open Day at Lifetime Lab


The Irish Team at the International Mathematical Olympiad 2013 in Santa Marta, Columbia


The Irish Team at the European Girls Mathematical Olympiad 2013 in Luxembourg (together with their leader and deputy leader)


The Irish Team at the International Mathematical Olympiad 2012 in Mar del Plata, Argentina (together with their guide)



UCC Mathematics Enrichment Programme



         Math Notes






    Maths circles           


       Math links  




 Mathematics Enrichment Classes Saturday classes are held in the Western Gateway Building, – building no 81 on this campus map. Here’s another map.

 The Wednesday classes for 2nd year students are held in the Brookfield Health Science Complex – building no 13 on this campus map. Here are the schedules for all groups.

 2013-2014 activities at a glance:

Follow-up Programme for 5th-6th years

Maths Enrichment for TY students

Junior Maths Enrichment

 Maths Circles for 1st year students

Who:  Most of the participants have attended the UCC Maths Enrichment Classes in the previous year, but all students are welcome. The main condition for attending these sessions is willingness to do the homework! MC900433817[1]

Who:  Most participants are TY students who have performed very well in the Junior Cert and/or in Round 1 of the Irish Mathematical Olympiad. Fifth year students and exceptional 3rd year students are welcome too. Participants receive letters of invitations through their schools. Other places available upon request.

Who:  Most participants are students in their 2nd or 3rd Junior Cycle year who have attended a Maths Circle in their local school, or who have shown special interest and aptitude for Mathematics.

Who: Junior Cycle students in their first years of study, who are curious about mathematics beyond curriculum and like maths games and puzzles. Some schools select participants based on their in-class results.

New: Primary school Maths Circles

by Carolann O’Driscoll and Eoin O’Mahony.Sponsored by Claran.

Using Math.EU resources.

Where: Western Gateway Building

            Room 106


Where: Western Gateway Building

See schedule below for room numbers.

Starting in December

Lectures will be held in Room 107


Where: Saturday sessions:

Western Gateway Building

          Wednesday sessions:

Brookfield Health Science Complex

 See schedule for room numbers:

Where: Schools in the Cork area. If your school does not run one, talk to your teacher about contacting us and running one with the help of UCC Maths Science students.

2013-2014 Schedule

 Schedule with class-notes.

 Schedules include links to lesson plans

Handbook by Ciaran O’Conaill

When: Saturdays 10:00-13:00

          Starting September 14

Please check the schedule for exact dates


When: Saturdays 10:00-13:00

          December 7st – December 14th,

          January 11 – April


Sat 10:00-11:30 or Wed19:00-20:30

No classes during school breaks.

When: Throughout the school year.

Why: Now the topics you met last year start to feel more familiar, the ideas sink in, and you find yourself a better problem solver. At least that’s what most follow-up participants report. Smaller group, more one-to-one interaction.

You get a chance to participate in events like Mathematical Olympiads

Why: You encounter deeper, more challenging and more interesting mathematical problems than those on the school syllabus.

 You get a chance to participate in the

Mathematical Olympiads

UCC news, August 20th

UCC news, August 21st

Leaving Cert results

Why: To continue on with the fun of Maths Circles.

To meet like-minded people from other schools around the Cork area. 

To participate in contests like Alcumus challenges,

or the Purple Comet   

Why: Testimonials

Maths Circles in the news.

More info on the Maths Circles website.


   Mathematical Olympiads


The European Girls' Mathematical Olympiad (EGMO) is an international mathematics competition similar in style to the International Mathematical Olympiad, with two papers taken on consecutive days. Participating countries send teams consisting of four female mathematicians of school age.

The third EGMO took place Antalya on April 10-16, 2014.

Here are solutions to the UCC based selection test.

 The International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) 2013 was held in Colombia in July. This is a very prestigious competition and many of the leading Mathematicians worldwide participated in this competition when they were at Second Level schooling.         

 Congratulations to Declan Manning from Ballincollig Community School for his Honourable Mention!

The Final Round of the Irish Mathematical Olympiad took place on Saturday, 11 May 2013.

Here is the Roll of Honour and here are the top 20 Cork contestants

The European Girls' Mathematical Olympiad (EGMO) is a mathematical problem solving contest for female second level students.

The second EGMO took place Luxemburg in April 2013.

Congratultions to Karen Briscoe from Kinsale Community School and Anna Mustata from Bishopstown Community School for their Honourable Mentions!

An Irish team member report by Jessica Weitbrecht and some photos.

The International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) 2012 was held in Argentina.

Congratulations to Jonathan Peters from Presentation Brothers College for his Honourable Mention!

Jonathan talks of Argentina 2012


Short history:   Mathematics Enrichment Classes at University College Cork

     The programme was started in 1987 by Prof. Finbarr Holland and Donal Hurley, with the support of members of the Mathematics Department at UCC. These classes meet for three hours on Saturday mornings and around 100 students attend them. Students are invited to attend the classes based on their performance at the Junior Certificate Mathematics Examination and teacher recommendations. Invitations to attend these classes are highly valued. The topics covered are generally distinct from the Leaving Certificate Mathematics syllabus and the emphasis is on solving mathematical problems which require ingenuity and mathematical techniques.       Programmes involving Mathematics Enrichment Classes are to be found in many countries. They are generally very extensive, meet more regularly and involve a large proportion of students. Generous sponsorship is readily available for such programmes as many of the leading scientists and engineers in these countries would have some of their early training at these activities.  


   Mathematics notes         

Irish Mathematical Olympiad
    2003  Paper 1    /   Paper 2
    2004  Paper 1    /   Paper 2
    2005  Paper 1    /   Paper 2
    2006  Paper 1    /   Paper 2
    2007  Paper 1    /   Paper 2
    2008  Paper 1    /   Paper 2
    2009  Paper 1    /   Paper 2
    2010  Paper 1    /   Paper 2

    2011  Paper 1    /   Paper 2

    2012  Paper 1    /   Paper 2

    2013  Paper 1    /   Paper 2


EGMO  2012 Irish Selection Test

             2013 Irish Selection Test


Geometry course notes, exercises and problem solving tips.


IMO geometry problems 1 and 4


IMO geometry problems 2 and 5


Geometry notes on symmetry by Andrei Mustata

Geometry notes by Sabin Tabirca: 
          1. Medial triangle
          2. Equilateral Triangles
          3. Inversion and Applications to Ptolemy and Euler
          4. Feuerbach's Theorem
          5. Orthic triangle
          6. Theorems of Ceva, Menelaus and Van Aubel
          7. Lemoine Point
          8. Lemoine Point and Circles

  Notes on general problem solving: 


  Peng Shi’s notes on all problem solving.

  The IMO compendium Group notes.

  Alcumus videos.


  Notes on Combinatorics:

  1. Course notes by Martin Stynes.

Basic Olympiad preparations: Chapters 1 and 6, begin 2 and 3.

  2. Repetitions and conditions.

  3. Binomial coefficients notes from UCD


  Notes on number theory:

 1. Modular arithmetic

 2. WWL Chen’s notes on Division and Factorization

 3. WWL Chen’s notes on Arithmetic Functions.

 4. WWL Chen’s notes on Modular Arithmetic



                     Notes on inequalities

                by Professor Finbarr  Holland:

 1. Trigonometrical identities and inequalities
 2. Complex numbers and polynomials
 3. Geometric and algebraic inequalities

 4. More inequalities -Variation on a common theme
 5. Solutions 1
 6. Solutions  2

                by Anca Mustata:

 1. Inequalities and Graphs



Maths Circles also have their own new webpage.    Please make sure to check out the 1st year Maths Circles lesson plan Handbook written by Ciaran O’Conaill.

Sample Maths Circle activities: 

Getting Started

Matchstick puzzles:

Pdf     Rtf

Intro to probabilities and combinatorics.                 Pdf      Word

Logic puzzles, sequential thinking and graphs:   Pdf

Magic circles and sets    Pdf      Word

Triangular puzzle                  Pdf  Word

Slicing and guessing- powers of 2   Pdf     Word

Jumping lizard permutations                         Pdf   Word

Magic products Pdf  

Symmetry puzzles          Pdf             LaTeX

Subtraction game   Pdf     Word

Chess board puzzles



Angles in Mahatmas’s triangle

Squares of sums

Multivariable action game

Binary numbers



Factors of triangular numbers                                Pdf  



More challenging

Mastermind worksheet

Adding squares, cubes, etc.

Geometry without  compass or right angles




  A good source of nice puzzles, sorted by class: the  Kangaroo contest.              Problems with solutions: the Virtual Maths Club.                    A rich source of Maths puzzles and games, sorted by topic: Cut-the-knot.  

  A directory of e-books on maths games


Maths Circles on the Web: 

MSRI: How to start a math circle

AIM: Math teachers circle network             

The USA National Association of Math Circles             

A nice link  About math circles

 Some sites of maths circles containing problem sets, lesson Lesson plans or other useful information:  Toronto,  Stanford,  Berkeley.


Very rough sketch for lesson plan



Mathematics links

International Mathematical Olympiad   official site
International Mathematical Olympiad  Canadian site
Irish Mathematical Olympiad  

The Art of Problem Solving, including free interactive on-line learning
PRISM - Problem Solving for Irish Second Level.
Hamilton Mathematics Grand Challenge  - online mathematics contest, aimed at secondary school students of all ages.
The British Mathematical Olympiad 
The American Mathematics Competitions
The Canadian Mathematical Society competitions site

Millennium Mathematics Project  based at the University of Cambridge
              -   NRICH, on-line mathematics magazine 
              -   PLUS, on-line magazine featuring applications of mathematics to the sciences, arts, commerce and society
              -   MOTIVATE videoconferencing project for schools

David Joyce’s online version of Euclid’s Elements.

GeoGebra dynamic mathematics software for schools.
A. Bogomolny, Interactive Mathematics Activities from Interactive Mathematics Miscellany and Puzzles


Contact information

Mathematics Enrichment Classes organizers:

Current:       Anca Mustata                              tel (021)  420 5852
Previous:      Dr. Donal Hurley                        
                     Professor Finbarr  Holland