Undergraduate Essay Prize

Undergraduate Essay Prize

Winners of the 2018 competition

We are delighted to announce that the winner of the 2017-18 Essay Prize is

Kamilla Rekvenyi of the University of St Andrews, for her essay, Paul Erdös’ Mathematics as a Social Activity. Kamilla will be awarded her prize at the BSHM Meeting at Gresham College on 24th October, at 4pm.

The two, highly commended, runners up were

Tabitha Ogilvie, University of Oxford, for her essay Euler, Legendre, and Gauss: Who knew the law of quadratic reciprocity?


Toby Peres, University of St Andrews, for his essay The Use and Development of Mathematics within Creative Literature


About the Prize

The BSHM Undergraduate Essay Prize is awarded annually  for an essay by an undergraduate student on any topic in the  history of mathematics. The winner receives £100, free BSHM membership for three years, and is invited to give a talk at the BSHM Research in Progress meeting.

The essay may be on any topic within the history of mathematics and  should be no more than 2500 words (excluding references). The competition is open to any person who is enrolled as an undergraduate in a UK or Irish university.

Entry details for 2019 will appear shortly. As an indication of requirements you may ,see last year's  entry form which had a closing date of 21st June 2018 The poster for that competition is attached here.

Previous winners

2016/17: Eli Hymson of the University of Exeter for an essay entitled The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Foundationless Mathematics. The judging panel also highly commended  entries by Siddhi Doshi (essay title: The evolution of the game theory as a foundation in economic analysis) and Stefan Kitic (essay title: What is “money” and does its use require “mathematics”?)  of the London School of Economics.

2015/16: Michael Seal (London School of Economics), 'Was there a Revolution in Analysis in the Early 19th Century?' and Brigitte Stenhouse (University of Oxford), 'How Financial Instability Influenced the Mathematical Publications of Mary Somerville'.

2014/15: Edwin Reynolds (University of Oxford), ‘To What Extent Were the Contributions of Cauchy to the Development of Rigour in Analysis Influenced by Those of Lagrange?'

2013/14: Remus Stana (University of Glasgow), 'Mathematics in Nazi Germany' .

2012/13: Ryan Stanley (University of Exeter), 'Dedekind, Cantor and the rigour of calculus' .

2011/12: Stephanie Crampin (University of Oxford), 'The contribution of Évariste Galois to the founding of group theory' and Nicole Johannesen (University of St Andrews), 'The application of mathematical understanding in the ancient Olympic Games'.