Melbourne University Mathematics and Statistics Society

Frequently Asked Questions

When is Open Day?

The School Maths Olympics is run on the University's open day. In 2017, Open Day will be held on Sunday 20th August. For more information, please visit the Melbourne University web site at

Who or What is MUMS?

MUMS is the Melbourne University Mathematics and Statistics Society. We are a university club, aimed at promoting and enhancing mathematics at Melbourne University.

What are the Maths Olympics?

Bigger than Ben Hur! Better than Sydney! The Maths Olympics combine mathematical problem solving ability with physical prowess to produce a competition unlike any other.

Teams of five students are split up into two groups of two, and a runner. One group is given a problem to solve. When they think they have the answer, the runner takes it down to their marker. If it is correct, then the runner will be given a new problem to take to the other half of the team and problem solving continues. If it is wrong, then they may either take the question back and continue to try and solve it, or forfeit the question and obtain a new one. Marks are given for correctly answered questions. However, as the questions go on, they also get harder!

Why should I participate in the Maths Olympics?

Because it's a fun thing to do, there are prizes and the opportunity to go on to compete against Melbourne University staff and students (in past years, school teams invited to the University Maths Olympics have gone remarkably well!)

What are the Prizes?

The SMO Prizes are listed on our SMO Prizes page.

When is the Maths Olympics held?

The 2017 Schools Maths Olympics will be held on Sunday 20th August (Open Day). The actual competition will run from 12.00pm onwards. Registration will begin at around 11:30am.

Where are the Maths Olympics held?

The Schools Maths Olympics will be held in the JH Michell Theatre of the Peter Hall Building (where the Mathematics and Statistics department is located) at the University of Melbourne. A map showing the exact location is available here.

How many teams can our school enter?

Each school is limited to one team. If there are vacancies for extra teams after the closing date, then those schools which have entered will be invited to enter extra teams.

Due to the format of the competition, places are strictly limited. Teams will be accepted on a 'first come first served' basis. We encourage you to enter a team as soon as possible!

How many students on a team?

Five. Each team will be partitioned into two pairs and a Runner at all times.

Can teachers compete?

Yes! Each year we organise two teams made up of teachers from the various schools competing. Don't worry - front row seats are allocated to reduce the physical element of the competition!

We would encourage you to attend the competition and compete in one of the teachers teams. If you are able to do this, please indicate this on the entry form.

Is school uniform required?

No, not at all! However, as the competition involves moving around a lecture theatre, we suggest that competitors avoid wearing excessively tight clothing or high heels on the day.

What sort of questions are asked?

Questions are based more on lateral thinking than manual calculation. They require no knowledge of mathematics above year 10 level, and thus no calculus will be required. Calculators are strictly prohibited!

Sample questions are available from this MUMS website.

Where can I get more information?

More information on MUMS and the Schools Maths Olympics may be found on this website - this even includes a training guide to the Maths Olympics! If you can't find what you are looking for, you can contact us via email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it