Teddy Rocks Maths Essay Competition

Entries for the 2021 edition of the ‘Teddy Rocks Maths’ essay competition are now open!

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 Friday 26 March 2021 and the winners will be announced in April 2021.

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:

Bomb Blast Radius – Numberphile

Planck Length (aka the smallest distance in the universe)

Maths at the Movies (Avengers Endgame, The Fault in Our Stars, Mean Girls)

Last year we received a huge number of entries, and competition was fierce with so many excellent submissions. However, two winning entries were selected – a student winner and an overall winner – 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!

Entries for the Teddy Rocks Maths Essay Competition have now closed. If you have a finished essay that you want to submit, there may still be time - email schools.liaison@seh.ox.ac.uk for more information.