Oxford Online Maths Club

Oxford Online Maths Club

Welcome to the club! The Oxford Online Maths Club is a regular livestream from the University of Oxford with maths problems, puzzles, mini-lectures, and Q&A. It’s free, interactive, casual, and relaxed, and the livestreams are recorded so that you can watch back afterwards if you're not free when we're live. All the episodes from the first two seasons are available to stream at any time on this page. We're currently running a related project over on the MAT livestream page - we're live each Thursday at 17:00 (UK time) over there mostly covering MAT problems and related mathematics, starting 05 August.

In some of the episodes below we talk about tricky maths problems, in some of them we explore a maths topic, and sometimes we have a current Oxford student or staff member on the livestream to talk about a bit of maths that they love. Every episode comes with some further reading notes for you to explore the topics we covered in the livestream in more depth. If you're looking for super-curricular mathematics (perhaps you're looking for an EPQ topic, or trying to explore maths beyond the classroom before applying to university), then this should be a good place to start.

The Oxford Online Maths Club is mostly aimed at two sets of people; those who are about to start an undergraduate Mathematics (or joint honours) degree later this year, and those who are thinking of applying later this year to start a Maths degree next year, but anyone who is interested is welcome to join us in the livestream or read the further reading. Whether you’re the only person you know who’s interested in mathematics, or if you’re an entire sixth-form maths club looking for more maths content, we’re here for you!

Our regular host is Dr James Munro (admissions coordinator for Maths at Oxford), and we often have current Oxford students answering questions in chat and appearing on the livestream to talk about maths.


Here's what people say;

"Thank you for being a constant and giving me a way to enjoy maths without having to leave the house or having to feel bad if I miss it. I honestly love this" - Anonymous participant

"Thank you! I'm both confused and more interested." - Anonymous participant

"How does that make any sense :D" - Anonymous participant

Next livestream

The regular OOMC episodes are on a break while we run the MAT livestream in the Thursday 17:00 slot.

The Oxford Online Maths Club will return in January 2022.

Further Reading

For each episode, there are some notes with further reading and related bits and pieces to try at home. Click on "Read More" under any episode on this page to see these notes (the episodes go live on Thursdays, and the notes are uploaded here on Fridays, so if you come back at the weekend there will be something to read).

In January we experimented with using a mailing list to distribute these notes, but we're now putting them up on the website so that they're easier to find, and because the maths formatting is better.

MAT livestream

Contact us

If you’d like to ask us anything about anything we've covered on OOMC, or about Maths or university, or about Oxford admissions, send an email to oomc [at] maths.ox.ac.uk.

If you'd like a question to a current student, just mention that in your email and we'll show your email to a friendly student.

Previous Episodes

You can watch previous episodes and access all the further reading with the links below. There's no need to watch the episodes "in order" - choose one with a title that sounds interesting to you!

Season 2


Further Reading
OOMC Season 2 Episode 12. A few more things.

In the last episode of Season 2, there are just a few more things to cover...

Read more

OOMC. Season 2 Episode 11. Everything Wrong.

In this episode, James gets everything wrong. On purpose maybe? We look at the number of ways to rearrange things without getting any in their original place, and there's an extension to sets of two with an incredible answer.

Read more

OOMC Season 2 Episode 10. Countability with James

In this episode, James defines what it means for a set to be countable, and proves that we can't describe most of the numbers.

Read more

OOMC. Season 2 Episode 9. Interview Q with Tom

Dr Tom Crawford, the Oxford tutor behind the YouTube channel Tom Rocks Maths, presents an interview question that he used last year. Can the people watching live solve it?

Read more

OOMC Season 2 Episode 8. Dotty Maths

The dot product, dots for time derivatives, dots of dotted dotty vectors, dots on dominoes, and dots on dice. Has James finally gone completely dotty? Find out in this episode.

Read more

OOMC Season 2 Episode 7. Chaotic Viruses with Francesca

In this episode, Francesca describes the mathematics of competing virus strains, with chaotic consequences.

Read more

OOMC Season 2 Episode 6. Complex Integration.

Have you ever thought about what might happen if we tried to combine complex numbers and integration? In this epsiode, we explore what that might involve! There's a surprising link between integration, complex numbers, and logarithms.

Read more

OOMC Season 2 episode 5. Geometry

In this episode, James explores a geometry problem with a complicated answer, and discovers an ancient formula along the way. There's also an arithmetic problem, and a geometry puzzle based on a band logo.

Read more

OOMC Season 2 Episode 4. Functions with Aditi

In this episode, Aditi introduces the fundamentals of differentiation and integration, as they're taught on a university Maths degree. We take a look at continuous and differentiable functions, and prove the fundamental theorem of calculus.

Read more

OOMC Season 2 episode 3. Prime Time with Ittihad

Do you like prime numbers? Do you like complex numbers? We've got both! In this episode, Ittihad explains the theory behind Gaussian Primes, which is a theory of prime numbers which are also the complex numbers. We also prove a theorem about writing real primes as the sum of two squares.

Read more

OOMC Season 2 episode 2. PDEs with Jonah.

This week, first-year student Jonah joins us on the livestream to talk about some first-year maths; partial differential equations (PDEs). They're like normal differential equations, but with more variables, and with more directions we can take them.

Read more

OOMC Season 2 episode 1. Penrose Tiles with Flora

Flora's back on the livestream with Penrose tiles! We'll show you why the Penrose tiling is special, how it's constructed, and why it works. There's also a bit where James and Flora try to remember the digits of pi, with mixed results.

Read more

OOMC Season 2 episode 0. Number Theory with Vicky.

We're back for season 2, kicking things off with some Number Theory with Dr Vicky Neale. Vicky has some numbers and some pictures of squares. Can you work out the relationship between the numbers and the squares?

Read more

Season 1



Further Reading

Curve sketching. James and Deepak with two equations; y=ln(x)/x and y=(a/x)^12-(a/x)^6.

James and Deepak meet up to do some more curve sketching!

OOMC season 1 wrap-up; five participants in a video call

James, Deepak, Flora, Francesca, and Ittihad met up again to discuss Season 1 of the Oxford Online Maths Club.

OOMC episode 12. Integration with David!

In episode 12, David introduces integration by substitution, and James sets him a challenging unseen problem.

Read more

OOMC Episode 11. Olympiad Problems

In episode 11, Ittihad shows us a variety of cute olympiad-style problems!

Read more

OOMC episode 10. Topology with Flora.

In episode 10, Flora shows us a trick with a Möbius strip that you can try at home.

Read more

OOMC episode 9. Primes and Triangles

In episode 9, James proves Wilson's Theorem and does some tricks with a triangle.

Read more

OOMC episode 8. Epidemic Maths

In episode 8, Francesca tells us about her research on mathematical modelling of epidemics. There's also time for James to do something cryptic with knots.

Read more

OOMC Episode 7. The Chain Rule

In episode 7, James describes the chain rule for differentiation, including a higher-dimensional version.

Read more

OOMC episode 6. Testing times

In episode 6, Oxford DPhil student Zheneng joins us to explain hypothesis testing, and we finish some curve sketching from the previous episode.

Read more

OOMC episode 5 Fantastic Graphs

In episode 5, Deepak presents Fantastic Graphs and Where to Find Them. We also revisit a pigeonhole principle question from episode 4.

Read more

OOMC episode 4. Pigeons.

In episode 4, all the problems involve pigeons. James is joined by current student Christian to explain.

Read more

OOMC episode 3 probability with Lauren

In episode 3, we look at as some probability with Lauren (3rd year, Maths & Stats), and we approximate some functions with James.

Read more

OOMC ep 2 Unseen MAT

In episode 2, we look at some unseen MAT questions with help from David (first-year student), before returning to the square problem from episode 0 and the cube problem from episode 1.

Read more

OOMC ep 1 Cubes and other shapes

In episode 1, we talk about shapes and about watching YouTube videos quickly, and answer some of your questions.

Read more

OOMC ep 0 Welcome to the club

In episode 0, we solve a problem with square numbers, learn about quadratic residues, and talk about an Oxford maths interview question about cubics.

Read more

Note for teachers

Each livestream will be on YouTube indefinitely, and the sessions are free for your students to watch whenever. You can give them this short URL; www.maths.ox.ac.uk/r/club which will always point to this page. If you want to adapt the content covered in our livestreams for your own after-school maths club, please feel free to contact us on the email address below, and we may be able to give you a copy of any original materials used in our sessions.

Resources (adapted from OOMC livestreams)

PDF icon Complete the Square

PDF icon Cubes and other shapes

PDF icon Lauren's Slides - Probability

Other resources

Looking for more maths? Here are some other things that you might like.

Problem Solving Matters

logo for Problem Solving Matters

This problem-solving course is for Year 12 students from state-funded schools, academies and colleges who are interested in applying for places at Oxford University, Imperial College, Durham University or Warwick University to study Mathematics.

Try this NRICH Problem!

What's the largest integer that divdes $n^5-n$ for all positive integers $n$?

Explore this question with NRICH at https://nrich.maths.org/7042.

For more like this, see https://nrich.maths.org/post-16.

More links

The STEP support programme is a great set of maths resources, even if you're not going to take the STEP exams. Start here and then work through these; if they're too easy for you, then try these or eventually these. Dr Stephen Siklos's book Advanced Problems in Mathematics: Preparing for University is great, and free.

NRICH has lots of maths problems, investigations, games, and activities.

The Maths department at Oxford has written practice problems and material to help with bridging the gap, which some colleges send out to students to look at over the summer before starting the Oxford maths degree. The Bridging the Gap material has been expanded into the book "Towards Higher Mathematics: A Companion" by Dr Richard Earl.

The maths departmental prospectus has more information about the Oxford maths and joint honours degrees.

Full details of the courses offered as part of the Maths degree in 2019/20 are available here. Please note that the courses offered may change year-on-year, and course details may change. Links to courses in specific years of the Maths degree;

University College at Oxford has compiled a great list of other resources, Staircase 12.