Schools Writing Prize in the History of Mathematics

Schools Writing Prize in the History of Mathematics

2021 Prize

Every year the British Society for the History of Mathematics gives prizes for the best essays or presentations on some aspect of the history of mathematics. Our Schools Writing Prize competition is done in cooperation with the + Plus Magazine. We give awards to two age groups: 11-15 year olds and 16-19 old students. The competition is only open to those studying in schools in the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

This year we are asking you to write or make a presentation/film/song (or make a submission in any other medium) on an aspect of the history of applied mathematics. We would expect to learn something new or interesting about how mathematics and medicine for example interact, how mathematics and architecture or engineering are related. No topic in applied mathematics is off the limit, but your story of course has to relate to a real historical development or event. The submissions should be around 1000 words (or equivalent) in length.

There will be two first prizes (£100) in the above groups, and as many run-up prizes (£20 each) as we find appropriate. As a winner or a runner-up, apart from the financial reward, you will also get a certificate, and a free BSHM subscription for a year.

We will also very much look forward to reading / watching / hearing your submissions! The deadline is 15th July 2021 at midnight

To submit, you need to folow this link. If you have any questions, please email the BSHM Education Officer:

snezana (at) 


Previous years' winners

2019-2020 (11-15 category): Genius of the East, The Discovery and Application of Trigonometry, by Reyan Saeed, Chigwell School, Essex

2019-2020 (16-19 category): Godel’s Proof, by Beatrice Bannister, The Henrietta Barnett School, London

2018-19: Madi Scott, from Greenhead College Huddersfield, for an essay entitled A Proof of Euclid of Alexandria’s importance and influence within the field of Mathematics. No further prizes were awarded this year. 

2017-18: Pippa Wakelin from Kendrick School in Reading who won in the 11-15 category for her paper on the History and Uses of Infinity and Charles Austin, from Norwich School in Norwich, who won in the 16-19 category for his paper on Calculating Risk: Where would we be without the mathematics of risk?

2016-17Nicholas Munro (age 11-15  category) of the Sackville School, Kent, for an essay entitled A brief exploration of mathematical modelling, and Dougal Houston (age 16-19 category) of Godalming Sixth Form College, Surrey, for an essay entitled The pioneers of mathematics and where we would be without them.

2015-16 BSHM Schools Plus Competition was won by Chiara Falls, from Guildford UK, for an essay entitled Discovering Links Between Maths and Architecture. Chiara was presented with her prize at the BSHM meeting at Birkbeck, University of London on 21 May 2016.