Where would the world be without mathematics?

From computer games to smart phones, and from the weather forecast to our solar system — mathematics is essential in describing and understanding the world around us. Have you ever wondered what the world would be like without mathematics?

Our solar system is described by maths. Image: NASA.

Mathematics has been part of human culture for millennia. This competition is your chance to explore how mathematics has developed and achieved its status. Where does mathematics come from? How do we know it's true? What is the contribution of a particular person or culture?

The British Society for the History of Mathematics (BSHM) believes that understanding where mathematics comes from and who has contributed to the development of mathematical ideas is an important part of understanding mathematics today. BSHM (with a little help from us) invites secondary school students to explore this question and communicate their findings for a wide audience.

You could write an article (maximum 1500 words), make a short video (maximum ten minutes) or a multi-media project (maximum ten minutes).

The competition is open to all young people aged 11 to 19 who are in secondary education. A prize of £100 will be awarded for the best entrant in each of the age categories 11-15 and 16-19. Winners will be announced on this web page by 27th May 2017.

The deadline for entries is Friday 24 March 2017. For details on hoe to enter, rules and guidelines, visit the BSHM website.