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 , illustrated every paper between 1978 and 2015. The current illustrator is Theo Chaddock .
Peter Ackerley's 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