Dr. Natthapoj Vincent Trakulphadetkrai (Associate Professor of Mathematics Education, University of Reading) has launched the third year of the world’s first annual international writing competition, called the Young Mathematical Story Author (YMSA) competition. Last year, the competition received entries from 329 students across 50 schools in 10 countries around the world.

Dr. Trakulphadetkrai points out that “What truly unique about this competition is the focus on writing stories with an explicit mathematical focus. Specifically, the competition is set up to encourage young mathematics learners (8-15 years old) from around the world to embed their mathematics learning in a meaningful and engaging context through creating their own mathematical story picture book.”

The idea behind this competition is based on the promising preliminary findings from a research project by Dr. Trakulphadetkrai which found potential pedagogical benefits of developing children’s mathematical understanding by having children produce their own mathematical story picture book.

Apart from Dr. Trakulphadetkrai, the Judging Panel of this competition also includes two of the world’s most prolific and best-selling mathematical story authors, Stuart J. Murphy and Cindy Neuschwander. Both Stuart and Cindy have also kindly agreed to let Dr. Trakulphadetkrai name the awards for the winners of the 8-11 and 12-15 age group categories as The Stuart J. Murphy Award and The Cindy Neuschwander Award respectively.


The winner in each of the two entry categories will receive the award of £100, and their school will also receive £100. The Stuart J. Murphy Award and The Cindy Neuschwander Award are kindly sponsored by HarperCollins and Charlesbridge respectively.

This competition is organised by MathsThroughStories.org, a non-profit and research-based initiative, set up by Dr. Trakulphadetkrai. The initiative sets out to help mathematics learners around the world develop their conceptual understanding in mathematics and to help them foster positive attitudes towards the subject through the power of storytelling. Since its launch in March 2017, the website has now been visited over 670,000 times by more than 160,000 teachers and parents from over 200 countries.



More details of the Competition can be found here.

More details of MathsThroughStories.org can be found on its website, as well as its TwitterFacebook and Instagram pages.

More details of Dr. Trakulphadetkrai’s research interests can be found here as well as his Twitter and Facebook pages.