Mathematical Education on Merseyside (MEM)
Registered Charity No. 517028

Mathematical Education on Merseyside (MEM) is an organisation which brings together staff from the three universities in Liverpool and local school teachers, to devise, enable and promote mathematical activities throughout the region.
See 'How it all began' at the foot of this page.

MEM ORBITER This is our newsletter and is circulated three times a year at the start of each school term, informing schools and other interested parties about local mathematical events and talks. Current and back issues are available.

MEM MASTERCLASSES These are for able and enthusiastic Y8/9 pupils and are held over five Saturdays in the autumn term.  

MEM CHALLENGE and MEM SENIOR CHALLENGE  These free take-home competitions are held over February half term, and are open to all Y7/8 and Y9/10 pupils respectively. Current and back issues (and solutions) are available.

MEM CHARITY SPONSORSHIP  MEM is a registered charity (no. 517028) and has received sponsorship in the past year from Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool John Moores University, Mercer Ltd, P.H. Holt Charitable Trust, the University of Liverpool, and W.H. Smith Ltd, for which we are very grateful. We are always seeking further support, both financial and in-kind, to enable us to continue our work.
If you would like to become a sponsor, please
contact us


For a comprehensive diary of local events click HERE
or click the
Events Diary button on any webpage


How it all began: Liverpool Mathematical Society (LivMS) and Mathematical Education on Merseyside

The Liverpool Mathematical Society (LivMS) was founded in 1899, principally as a meeting place for grammar school teachers of Maths and University Staff. In the mid 1970’s, James Taylor came to the University of Liverpool as Professor of Pure Mathematics. He had recently been Chairman of the Joint Mathematical Council (JMC) and felt that there was need for greater contact between the University and teachers of Mathematics in local Secondary Schools.

He sent round a MEMO inviting all Heads of Maths in Merseyside schools and colleagues in other Higher Education establishments to a meeting at the University. That was the beginning of what became quickly known as Mathematical Education on Merseyside (MEM). This was designed to be independent of the University and to complement the LivMS rather than to replace it. For many years MEM has enjoyed Charity status

The first MEM Challenge take-home competition for 12/13-year-olds was circulated to schools in May 1978. The format has proven successful, and continues largely unchanged to the present day. The cartoonist, Peter Ackerley, has illustrated every paper over that period. His logo for MEM of a planet orbiting a cube bearing the letters M E M inspired the title of the termly newsletter - the MEM Orbiter, which continues to be circulated to almost all schools within Merseyside, Cheshire, the nearer parts of Lancashire, most of North Wales and the Isle of Man, as well as to many schools much further afield. If you or your school would like to be added to the circulation list, at no charge, just let us know.

The national Popmaths Roadshow travelled the country in 1989/90, visiting around 20 venues, the first of which was the University of Leeds in September 1989. The Liverpool show, in May 1990, was hosted by both the Liverpool Cathedrals. The main activities were sited in the Lutyens Crypt of the Metropolitan Cathedral, complemented by a glorious selection of John Robinson's abstract sculptures in the nave of the Anglican Cathedral.

A local add-on was a competition for children involving solving at least 10 out of around 50 puzzles set out on trestle tables around a maze. This was put together by staff from what is now Liverpool Hope University, and has expanded and developed over the years since then to become the LivMS FunMaths Roadshow.