The events descibed below were run as part of the 2017 gathering. For future years, check back here in the run-up to the conference for details of which events will be going ahead.

Tables of Stuff

At the back of the room, we place two tables - one is for things you're happy for people to take away with them, and the other is for things you're happy for people to play with and not take away. This means attendees can bring along puzzles, handouts, toys, games, knitted items and anything else they want to share with people.

Occasionally contribiutors to the 'things to take' table have requested a small donation in a collection box, either to cover the costs of producing the items, or for charity. This is strictly optional.

MathsJam Baking Competition

Our now-annual maths baking competition will continue to test your baking skills. There'll be a cake/baked good/confection contest, judged by a randomly selected panel, and anyone attending the conference is welcome to enter. Entry to the competition is free (well, more strictly, it'll cost you approximately one cake or equivalent). The rules are:

  • You must bake/otherwise create a mathematically interesting cake/baked good/confection, and bring it with you to the gathering. (Please also bring a knife to cut it into portions; we'll provide serving plates.)
  • The judging will be in three categories: best flavour, best presentation, and best maths.
  • The first will reward a well-made, delicious item; the second will reward the item which has been decorated the most beautifully and looks most like what it's supposed to be; and the third will reward the most ingenious mathematical theming.

As with all the competitions, when you submit your entry, please inform an organiser so they can mark down who has submitted what, but please leave your entry anonymous.

Any food not required for judging purposes will be distributed among the MathsJam gathering attendees, so please bring details of any allergens your entry contains so they can be labelled. If you have any questions about the bake-off, please email bakeoff@mathsjam.com.

MathsJam Competition Competition

We also run an annual competition competition, to which attendees are invited to submit a competition, which the other attendees can enter.

Entries to the Competition Competition must be in the form of an A5 photocopied sheet, single-sided and printed in black and white.

  • Minimum font size for all text on the sheet must be 18pt
  • The sheet must contain space for the competition entrants to write their answer(s) and their name
  • A sealed container must be provided with a slot for completed entries, clearly labelled with the competition it's for
  • Any type of competition is permitted as long as it can be judged by the setter (or a winner randomly chosen from the correct entries)
  • Each competition must provide a prize, but that prize must be worth less than £1 on the open market.

Competitions must be placed on the competition competition table by the Saturday lunchtime, and be available for people to enter until the Sunday morning coffee break, when judging will occur. Entrants must provide 100 copies of their competition sheet (if you don't have access to a photocopier, we can help to arrange this - contact compcomp@mathsjam.com), and a box as described above for entries.

As with all the competitions, when you submit your entry, please inform an organiser so they can mark down who has submitted what, but please leave your entry anonymous. Entries to the individual competitions within the competition competition should not be anonymous, and you should include space for entrants to write their name.

There will be three prizes for the competition competition:

  • best competition, as chosen by the judges;
  • popular vote winner ('people's choice'): awarded to the competition which receives the most (genuine) entries; and
  • best attempt at circumvention of the rules while still strictly sticking to the rules.

The judging panel will be chosen randomly from non-competition-entering MathsJam attendees.

Saturday Evening entertainment

Attendees will be able to submit entries for a table (or other area) for the Saturday evening entertainment. A section of the room will be set up with tables each containing an activity, and the person proposing the activity must bring instructions, equipment and materials for attendees to learn a new thing, make something or do something fun. Proposals can range from 'Let's play game X' through to 'I will teach you how to Y'.

The person proposing the activity must also be prepared to stay at their table for the whole of a pre-specified hour of the evening (starting after dinner), although activities may continue afterwards. People running tables will also get a one-minute talk slot during the day in a special lightning session to explain/advertise their activity. The submission form is at bit.ly/mathsjam-tables.


On the Saturday evening we will be having a singalong where we will be singing popular songs that have been rewritten with mathematical lyrics. You are welcome to join in by submitting your mathematical version of a song or just coming along and joining in with the singing. You're also welcome to bring your own guitar/ukelele/grand piano/triangle and join in by playing too.

If you are interested in having your words to a popular song sung please can you email them to Tom Button (preferably at least a week beforehand so we can work out a vague approximation of the chords!).

The songs will be posted to this shared Google Doc, where you can also see the songs from last year too.