Teddy Rocks Maths Essay Competition

Applications for the 2022 competition are now closed and winners have been announced!   Read the news article

Launched in February 2020, the Teddy Rocks Maths Essay Competition is a joint venture between Tom Rocks Maths and St Edmund Hall at the University of Oxford, which asks high-school students to explain their favourite mathematical topic in an essay aimed at a non-specialist audience. The hope is to give them experience in communicating complex ideas in an understandable manner and also to encourage them to engage with maths beyond the classroom.

This is YOUR chance to write a short article about your favourite mathematical topic which could win you a prize of up to £100. All entries will be showcased at tomrocksmaths.com with the winners published on the St Edmund Hall website.

Entries should be between 1000-2000 words and must be submitted as Microsoft Word documents or PDF files using the form below. The closing date is Thursday 31 March 2022 and the showcase of entries will take place throughout April and May 2022.

Two prizes of £50 are available for the overall winner and for the best essay from a student aged 18 or under. There are no eligibility requirements – all you need is a passion for Maths and a flair for writing to participate!

The winners will be selected by Dr Tom Crawford, Early Career Teaching and Outreach Fellow in Mathematics at St Edmund Hall, and the creator of the ‘Tom Rocks Maths’ outreach programme. The mathematical topic of your entry can be anything you choose, but if you’re struggling to come up with ideas here are a few examples to get you started:

How to build a giant dome – Numberphile

22 Slices of Pizza with 6 Cuts

Making Mathematical Art with L-Systems

Last year we received a huge number of entries, and competition was fierce with so many excellent submissions. However, three winning entries were selected – a student winner, an overall winner and a College Choice Award – with a number of honourable mentions. You can read them all via the links below.

If you have any questions or would like more information please email Tom on tom.crawford@seh.ox.ac.uk – good luck!

Read the 2021 entries

Read the 2020 entries