DCS students attend Maths Circles Open Day


(L-R) James Connolly, Conor Powell, and Emmett O'Sullivan (all DCS Second Years). They are playing a 3D version of noughts and crosses - the aim is to get three balls of the same colour in a row, in any direction. In the usual noughts and crosses there are eight different possible ways you can have three in a row - in this game, there are 76 different ways in which you can do it!

Seven DCS students – four from First Year and three from Second Year – took part in the inaugural Maths Circles Open Day in the Lifetime Lab (located in the old waterworks on the lee road) on Saturday 21 March. The day was organised by the Maths Circles initiative, which is run by staff from UCC, CIT, and Douglas Community School, and helps organise after-school maths clubs for First Years in schools around Cork.  DCS was the first school in Cork to get involved in the programme, and the Maths Circle at DCS will continue to run right until the end of May.

At the Open Day, First and Second Year students from schools around Cork were invited to tour the Lifetime Lab, and try the different puzzles and challenges that were laid out around the facility. The DCS students clearly enjoyed themselves, enthusiastically (and mostly successfully!) tackling the various games and problems.

After a short lunch break, students took part in a problem-solving table quiz. Students were split up so that no team would feature two students from the same school. Nonetheless, DCS had a student on both the winning and the running-up teams, and so particular congratulations are due to Sean Barber of first year who was on the second placed team, and Patryk Hadjul, also of first year, who was on the winning team. We look forward to next year’s open day, and the Maths Circle classes that we will have between now and then!

Sample question from the quiz

Paul the Octopus has, not unusually, eight tentacles. He also likes wearing octuples of socks (i.e. eight matching socks). One morning, before the light is turned on in the aquarium, Paul goes to his sock drawer, rummages around, and starts to pull out socks. If he has black socks, red socks, and yellow socks (being a patriotic German), how many socks must he pull out to be sure that he has eight all the same colour?

Ciarán Ó Conaill