Students discuss Take-Home Challenge problems with staff

Recreational mathematics in SoMaS

To get the most out of studying mathematics in Sheffield, students can avail themselves of the following fun mathematical activities:


SUMS is the Sheffield University Maths Society, and provides a wide range of social activities for mathematical undergraduates.

Recent activities have included:

  • a "mathsquerade" ball,
  • sports fixtures against the Physics society.

SUMS at the Student Union

SoMaS take-home challenge

Every year since 2013, students have been invited to take part in the annual take-home challenge. Prizes are available in various categories, which include the best team name, the most valuable solution to any problem, and the best submission overall.

Students discuss the SoMaS Take-Home Challenge with staff

Recent questions include:

  • For which natural numbers n can a square be divided into n (not necessarily congruent) squares?
  • If Andy Murray wins 51% of his serves and 50% of his other shots during Wimbledon 2016, what is the probability that he will win the tournament?
  • What is the largest prime that you can find with decimal expansion 2015...? Your answer should include a verification that your number is indeed prime.

SoMaS take-home challenge

Pizza Seminars

Several times a year, there are recreational mathematics talks for undergraduates, with the added incentive of free pizza.

The pizza seminar!

Recent examples have included Dr Evgeny Shinder on the mathematics of the Rubik's Cube, and Prof Sarah Whitehouse on tilings.

Pizza seminar homepage

SURE and undergraduate research projects

Funding is available for undergraduates to undertake paid summer research projects, working closely with members of staff, for several weeks. Interested students should speak to an appropriate member of staff.

Recent projects have included:

  • Three-dimensional cross-sections of four-dimensional solids.

Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience

Maths on YouTube

On our Mathsters channel, you can watch ten minute lectures on lots of maths topics various subjects, aimed at A Level students or first year undergraduates.

The Mathsters with Dr Eugenia Cheng