IMA Festival of Mathematics and its Applications 2022 – Sign your pupils up now

4th and 5th July 2022

Something very exciting is happening at the beginning of July - the IMA Festival of Mathematics and its Applications is coming to Sheffield, and it has a jam-packed programme of talks and workshops perfect for pupils aged 11-18.

The Festival is being hosted and organised by Sheffield Hallam University (in the Charles Street Building), and the main sponsor is The Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA). The Programme is bursting with some of the best-known maths speakers and communicators in the UK, and is completely free of charge for schools to attend!


Please don’t stop reading if you don't think you can organise a trip to Sheffield: it is hoped there will be the option to live stream some of the events directly to your classroom. You just need to register your interest in live streaming via the Watch Live (Pre-booked only) page.


The IMA Festival of Mathematics and its Applications is the perfect place to satisfy your pupils’ endless questions about where maths is used in the real world. Talks and workshops between 10am and 3pm on each day of the event cover applications of mathematics in a huge range of areas including:

  • Art

  • Biology

  • Computing

  • Cryptography

  • Engineering

  • Extreme Materials 

  • Finance

  • Games

  • Genetics

  • Infectious disease modelling

  • Physics

  • Rocket science

  • Technology

This is only the tip of the iceberg, as there are over 100 sessions and activities on offer as part of the event. The talks and workshops will not only benefit your pupils - as a teacher you will take away an improved understanding of where maths is used in the modern world, and countless new ideas of things to talk about in the classroom.

Speakers and Role Models

As part of the workshops, your pupils will meet current students of Sheffield Hallam, as well as alumni, lecturers, maths communicators, and expert researchers in applications of mathematics.  External speakers include scientist/illustrator Hana Ayoob, STEM fashion designer Takita Bartlett, former IMA president Nira Chamberlain, author Rob Eastaway, mathematical artist Clarissa Grandi, Numberphile/YouTube presenter James Grime, mathematician/consultant Aoife Hunt, mathematician/educator Alison Kiddle, geometer/artist Samira Mian, neuroimaging scientist Yolanda Ohene and maths teacher/podcaster Susan Okereke.

For pupils who are making decisions about what to study next, meeting people who use mathematics in their work can be inspirational and help shape future career decisions. There is also a lot to be said about having time out of the classroom, celebrating and enjoying mathematics. Your English department might run a summer trip to Stratford, so why not take some time out with your pupils to enjoy mathematics in a completely different context and environment.

Women in Maths Sessions

As part of the Festival there will also be a series of Women in Maths sessions, which are aimed at female-identifying pupils and will be celebrating women’s achievements within Mathematics by showcasing some great female speakers sharing their favourite maths topics. All students are welcome to attend the sessions.


Choose to attend either a half day or full day, up to a maximum of the full two days. Then look at the Festival Programme and choose an activity for each one hour time slot and then book some ahead of time using the information on the Programme & Bookings page. Each time slot has around 10 choices of workshops or talks – all of which are clearly labelled with the target age group. This huge choice means that there will definitely be something suitable for you and your pupils.  A bigger problem will be deciding what not to go to!  As well as bookable activities there are plenty of drop-in events going on throughout the day including Maths Busking, building a giant Leonardo Dome and the IMA's Can you Beat the Cube? challenge. 

Public Lecture

There is also a public lecture on the Tuesday (5th July 6-7pm), which is suitable for everyone aged 13+.

The title is: ‘Bits and Pieces: Secrets of a Digital World’ and it will be given by Dr James Grime, who is a presenter on the YouTube channel Numberphile. The lecture will cover topics such as: ‘How does a film studio know if you are sharing movies illegally?’ ‘How are messages transmitted from space without mistakes?’, and ‘How can a scratched CD keep playing?’.

To book your place, go to IMA Festival of Mathematics and Its Applications- Public Lecture.

What Next?

Take a look at the Programme and think about how you could plan a trip to the IMA Festival of Mathematics and its Applications 2022. If you are an ECT and you haven’t planned a school trip before, then speak to your mentor or head of department and seek the approvals and support that you need. This could be a great opportunity for you to develop in terms of organising school trips. Remember to communicate the vision of the Festival to your senior leadership so that they can understand how it will benefit the pupils. Try to plan as far ahead as possible, as this will make the organisation easier, including booking coaches, communicating with parents and so on.  It might seem like a lot of work at the time, but it will feel totally worth it when you are actually at the event. Good luck!

For more information about the IMA Festival of Mathematics and its Applications 2022 visit IMA Festival 2022: Maths in Action