LivMS and MEM - how it all began

The Liverpool Mathematical Society (LivMS) was founded in 1899, principally as a meeting place for grammar school teachers of Maths and University Staff.

In the mid 1970ís, James Taylor came to the University of Liverpool as Professor of Pure Mathematics. He recently had been Chairman of the Joint Mathematical Council (JMC) and felt that there was need for greater contact between the University and teachers of Mathematics in local Secondary Schools.

He sent round a MEMO inviting all Heads of Maths in Merseyside schools and colleagues in other Higher Education establishments to a meeting at the University.

That was the beginning of what became quickly known as Mathematical Education on Merseyside (MEM).

This was designed to be independent of the University and to complement the LivMS rather than to replace it. It has for many years enjoyed Charity status.

The first MEM CHALLENGE take-home competition for 12/13-year-olds was circulated to schools in May 1978. The format has proven successful, and continues largely unchanged to the present day.

The cartoonist, Peter Ackerley , has illustrated every paper over that period.

His logo for MEM of a planet orbiting a cube bearing the letters M E M inspired the title of the termly newsletter - the MEM Orbiter , which continues to be circulated to almost all schools within Merseyside, Cheshire, the nearer parts of Lancashire, most of North Wales and the Isle of Man, as well as to many schools much further afield.

If you or your school would like to be added to the circulation list, at no charge, just let us know.

To download the very first edition of the

MEM Orbiter 'MEMO 0'

circulated to schools in the 1970's

click here: MEMO_0.pdf

Mathematical Education on Merseyside (MEM)
registered charity no. 517028

MEM website:

Mathematical Education on Merseyside (MEM) is an organisation which brings together staff from the three universities in Liverpool and local school teachers,
to devise, enable and promote mathematical activities throughout the region.

We are always seeking further support, both financial and in-kind, to enable us to continue our work. If you would like to become a sponsor, please contact us:

Barry Grantham (MEM Chairman)

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