### Maths Week Newsletter March 08/03/22

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Since the loosening of restrictions last month the island has seen a big return to normality in events and interactions with others, with this, preparations are already being made for Maths Week 2022 in-person events.
This week we had eth first day of (meteorological) Spring, Ash Wednesday and Carnival in many countries. We also celebrated Shrove Tuesday, or as it is more widely known Pancake Tuesday and we have a belated pancake puzzle below.
Next Monday week we will also celebrate the International Day of Mathematics, Pi Day. This worldwide celebration of maths takes place on March 14 (3.14 in US format).
We also have our regular column from Douglas Buchanan with some thought provoking ideas and excellent resources for teachers.
So as we enjoy the stretch in the evenings this month we have a lot of news, resources and coming events to share with you.

### In this issue:

Best wishes,
The Maths Week Team
 Maths Week 2022 The dates for Maths Week 2022 have been announced! It will take place from the 15th to the 23rd of October 2022. The Maths Week team are already planning the programme, as a hybrid of online and face-to-face activity. If you have any ideas please get in touch.  Keep an eye on our website and social media for all the latest updates.
 A Puzzle for Pancake Tuesday The chefs in the kitchen are sloppy, and when they prepare a stack of pancakes they come out all different sizes. Therefore, when I deliver them to a customer, on the way to the table, I rearrange them (so that the smallest winds up on top, and so on, down to the largest at the bottom), by grabbing several from the top and flipping them over, repeating this (varying the number I flip) as many times as necessary.   If there are 7 pancakes, what is the minimum number of flips that are required to rearrange them? Solution below.
 Engineers Week 2022 Maths is a huge part of the world of engineering. STEPS Engineers Week takes place from the 5 - 11 March and is run by the Engineers Ireland STEPS programme. There are activities and events for primary and secondary schools, North and South. This year Calmast is running the South East Engineering Festival in conjunction with Waterford Institute of Technology and IT Carlow who will soon become South East Technological University. Throughout the week there are both in-person and virtual events being run for primary and secondary school students. Be sure to check out the Engineers Week Quiz for secondary school students and the Drawing Competition for primary students with prizes up for grabs for the winner of each. To see the full range of fantastic events taking place, check out www.engfest.ie
 WDM Targetboards A special Targetboards challenge will take place on www.mathsweek.ie on March 14.  Mathematics Unites Photo Challenge The theme for this year's International Day of Mathematics is 'Mathematics Unites'. Let's connect the world through photos and the universal language of maths. The challenge is to take a picture of yourself with a mathematical thing and the more people the better. Why not team up with your class, family or pets. These mathematical objects could be anything from a geometrical shape to a statue of a famous Mathematician. For full info on the challenge visit www.idm314.org
 Maths News

# Wordle Spin-off, Nerdle takes off

• Nerdle converts Wordle into a numbers game by challenging players to figure out an eight-character calculation, for example 7+6/3=9, in just six guesses.
• The game was created in the UK by Richard Mann, who has worked in tech startups for 20 years, after discussing with his teenage children the absence of a Wordle equivalent for maths fans. His son worked out the 17,723 valid solutions for eight-digit Nerdle.
• Since launching on January 20th, the game been played by more than 1 million people in more than 200 countries.
 The Humour of Mathematics   Des MacHale is emeritus professor of maths from University College Cork and a recipient of the Maths Week Ireland Award for Raising Public Awareness of Maths. He has written four books about (his predecessor in UCC) George Boole as well as several books on humour. In a zoom talk for the Gathering4Gardner Celebration of Mind series Des looks at the role that humour plays in the teaching and understanding of mathematics, with hilariously funny illustrations and examples. The Zoom talk will take place on March 21st at 16:00. The aim is to show how humour humanises the subject, makes it more enjoyable, and show that mathematicians are prepared to laugh at themselves and their subject. On a more serious level, Des examine structural relations between humour and mathematics, for example, a comparison between the theorem and the joke, and a look at people who had a foot in both camps, such as Lewis Carroll, Stephen Leacock and Tom Lehrer. For more information and booking visit: https://www.gathering4gardner.org/com-2022-3-21/ The Gathering4Gardner Celebration of Mind series is a rich source for recreational maths and maths and art material. https://www.gathering4gardner.org/category/com-virtual-events/
 Target Boards for March Target Boards will make their return this Friday. If you are not already registered already for Spring2022 campaign, you will have to register your class.  Targetboards and can be accessed through Games and Competitions.
 Maths at Work                 Do you have a story to tell?  If so, get in touch with us about how you use maths at work. Contact us at mathsweek@wit.ie or fill in our form at www.mathsweek.ie
 Maths Anxiety with Dr. Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleanháin Dr. Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin featured recently on RTE Radio 1 Drivetime speaking about a recent study of maths anxiety in students. She talks about how students can rub off on each other when it comes to their anxiety and how teachers can help to relieve this. To listen to the conversation in full click here.
 Dates for your diary in 2022: March 4th John Hooper Statistical Poster Competition - closing date for posters to be submitted.  March 5-11th Engineers Week & SE EngFest March 14th International Day of Mathematics March 30th Women in STEM Summit 2022, Dublin April 8-9th Irish Science Teachers Association Annual Conference 2022, UCC Cork April 12-14th Mathematical Association Conference ‘Mathematical Visions’, online April 20-21st European Science Engagement Association 22 Conference, Cork June 20-24th 24th Conference of the International Linear Algebra Society, Galway July 6-14th October 15-23rd  Maths Week Ireland
 IMTA Junior Mathematics Competition   The Irish Maths Teachers Association Junior Mathematics Competition takes place this week. The regional round of the competition is being held online. The entry form can be filled out on their Website. Further information will be sent out after registration.
 SciFest@College entry form closing date   SciFest@College ran very successfully online in both 2020 and 2021. However, a virtual event cannot capture the excitement and atmosphere of a 'real' SciFest@College STEM fair in a third-level college. SciFest@College is open to all second-level students and is free to enter. There is a range of awards available at each of the SciFest@College venues; a list of the awards currently available at each venue may be viewed here.  The closing date for receipt of completed entry forms to SciFest@College 2022 for all venues, is Friday 11 March 2022.
 Teddy Rocks Maths Essay Competition   The competition is open to anyone and entrants can write about any mathematical topic they choose (no hard word limit but a guideline of 1000-2000 words). The deadline for entry is on Thursday 31st March. The competition is run by Maths Week regular Dr Tom Crawford. There are two separate cash prizes of £50 for the best student entry (aged 18 and under) and the best winner overall, with all entries published at tomrocksmaths.com. The two winners will also be published on the St Edmund Hall (Oxford) website. You can see the winning entries from last year (both A-level students) along with more details of the competition - including the entry form - here: https://www.seh.ox.ac.uk/study/outreach/teddy-rocks-maths
 This meeting attracts maths education specialists and teachers from around the world.  More info here
 Follow us on social media to join in our Puzzle of the Week every Saturday!