Welcome Note

Have you got Maths Eyes is a project dedicated to helping individuals of all ages and backgrounds discover the maths they use in their everyday lives.

Maths Eyes is sponsored by  Avonbeg Consulting, the School of Mathematics & Statistics  at Technological University Dublin, the Maths Week Ireland Team (https://www.mathsweek.ie/) and Dublin West Education Centre. We are supported by many others who contribute their time and expertise to help us judge the Maths Eyes annual competition entries and activities.

We invite you, whether you’re a parent, student, tutor, or teacher, to join in and share your own materials and events. Help us to open the Maths Eyes of as many people as possible and build everyone’s confidence in mathematics.

About Maths Eyes

Maths Eyes is an evolving idea that is now being used in primary and post primary schools, adult education centres and communities in Ireland and internationally. Maths Eyes works on the premise that if individuals are supported to look at familiar things and begin to see that mathematics is all around them, they can build confidence in their own ability to use mathematics. Mathematics that surrounds people in their everyday lives, for the most part, remains ‘invisible’. Teachers and parents who develop their Maths Eyes are able to see this ‘invisible’ mathematics and can pinpoint appropriate starting points for introducing mathematical knowledge and skills that are  relevant to their lives and to those of children.

Maths Eyes can be used to make connections across and between ‘big ideas’ to develop a profound understanding of mathematics. Viewing the world from a mathematical perspective involves having number sense, an ability to recognise connections and interdependencies, cause-and-effect relationships, and the ability to construct visual images and to understand, communicate and link mathematical knowledge and skills to real world contexts.

Meet the Team

Dr Terry Maguire
Avonbeg Consulting

Mr Ciarán O’Sullivan
Technological University Dublin

Mr Eoin Gill
Maths Week Ireland

Dr Sheila Donegan
Maths Week Ireland

The importance of developing Maths Eyes

  • Having Maths Eyes provides excellent opportunities for linking home and school
  • Having Maths Eyes promotes the usefulness of mathematics
  • Having Maths Eyes builds confidence in mathematics
  • When teachers have Maths Eyes they can identify real world starting points for mathematics teaching and learning that are relevant to the social, cultural and educational context of their learners.
  • Having Maths Eyes means adults and children become more confident in their own mathematics and begin to regard themselves as being a ‘maths person’
  • Having Maths Eyes encourages the use of the real world as a starting point for the relevant exploration in the maths world.
  • Having Maths Eyes gives us a way to see the maths that surrounds us in school, at home, in the garden, on the street,in the park or in any other real-world settings
  • Having Maths Eyes gives us a new way of looking at familiar things
  • Opening your Maths Eyes develops communication by providing opportunities to talk about maths
  • Having Maths Eyes identifies fun problems to solve
  • Using Maths Eyes develops understanding.

Maths Eyes Lenses

In the same way that contact or glass lenses help some individuals to see more clearly, using ‘Maths Eyes lenses’ can help us to see different types of mathematics that surround us.  When an individual first develops their Maths Eyes they usually see the mathematics that is associated with measure and number e.g., prices in the shop, bus and car registrations, bar codes, speed signs, etc. before seeing other types of mathematics. However, by changing the lens that you look through it is possible to see the other types of real world mathematics that surround us. What you might see using different lenses is outlined in Table 1

Table 1            Maths Eyes Lenses

Shape and Space This lens enables you to see the range of shapes used in the real world contexts
Measures and Number


This lens covers all the thingsthat relate to number and quantity in everyday life such as, our use of measurements, time and money and our use of number sense or even how we share a cake or pizza with family and friends
Data and Chance This lens enables you to see the ever increasing use of data and predictions present in everyday life. News reports or media include charts and tables that need to be interpreted (e.g. sports or league tables, survey results, etc.). Predicting the chances of things happening such as wether ot illness or winning in sport (or the Lottery!) etc are also part of everyday life.

(incl. Patterns, rules and relationships; Expressions and equations)

This lens opens our eyes tot he patterns that surround us, road markings and signs, the way trees or shrubs are planted, patio, fence and gate designs, GAA or Rugby scores. Patterns are the gateway to Algebra expressions and equations which enable us to develop new ideas, build models and solve problems.

Different ways to develop Maths Eyes

Maths Eyes Problem Pictures and Posters

Take pictures of familiar objects and activities that showcase mathematical concepts such as measurement, geometry, and patterns. Making Maths Eyes Posters is a fun and engaging way to explore mathematical concepts and create resources for others to use.

Maths Trails

Maths Trails provide an interactive way to explore maths in the world around you, allowing individuals or groups to develop their Maths Eyes through real-life problem-solving and investigation.


Workshops are an effective and interactive way to connect with the community and promote the development of maths skills in everyday life whether it be through group activities, games or challenges.

Maths Week

Enter the Maths Eyes competition to showcase your creativity and problem-solving skills. Engage with mathematics and get recognition for your efforts with different age categories and opportunities to win prizes.

Recognition of your commitment to developing Maths Eyes

We are excited to announce that digital badges are available to recognise your commitment to developing Maths Eyes. The Maths Eyes team offers various badges to individuals, schools, adult education centers, and community groups who support the Maths Eyes project. Learn more.

Our History


Maths Eyes is born

The concept of Maths Eyes was developed by Terry Maguire as part of her research on mathematics education. Her focus was on developing the mathematics education of adult maths tutors in Ireland. This research led her to the realisation that many people struggle to see the maths in their everyday lives and often do not appreciate the maths they use regularly. As a result, she developed the idea of developing ‘Maths Eyes’ to help individuals understand the maths that surrounds them and to use this understanding in their daily lives.

Maguire, T., 2003. Engendering Numeracy in Adults Mathematics Education with a focus on tutors: A grounded Approach. Unpublished PhD Thesis, University of Limerick, Ireland

Maguire, T. 2006 Engendering Numeracy in Adults Mathematics Education with a Focus on Tutors: A Grounded Approach’ In: From the inside out: emerging perspectives in adult and further education in Ireland, N. Colleran (ed.) Nenagh: Tipperary (NR) VEC, 218-235. ISBN 0 95527170 0 3

Maguire, T., Smith, A.M. (2018). Maths Eyes—A Concept with Potential to Support Adult Lifelong Mathematics Education. In: Safford-Ramus, K., Maaß, J., Süss-Stepancik, E. (eds) Contemporary Research in Adult and Lifelong Learning of Mathematics. ICME-13 Monographs. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-96502-4_12

O Sullivan, C. Maguire T., Robinson P. 2012, “Building Mathematical Competence – A Community Approach”.  Proceedings of Mathematical Education of Engineers: 16th SEFI (Mathematics Working Group). https://sefi.htw-aalen.de/Seminars/Salamanca2012/16thSEFIMWGSeminar/ficheros/lecturas/Documents_pdf/Session1/SEFIMWG12_osullivan.pdf


Laying the groundwork

‘Looking at Tallaght with Maths Eyes’ was a successful initiative that took place in June 2011 as part of the 18th International Conference Adult Learning Mathematics. Hosted by the Institute of Technology Tallaght in Dublin, Ireland, the initiative aimed to help the Tallaght community develop their Maths Eyes, make the connection between maths and the real world, build confidence in the use of maths in daily life, and empower individuals to improve their maths knowledge and skills. Through this initiative, Maths Eyes worked towards building a positive image of maths in the community.


Acceleration begins

The Maths Eyes initiative was extended to Inner City Dublin in May 2012, in partnership with the Dublin 8 Community Education Centre and Digital Hub. During this time, the website www.haveyougotmathseyes.com was developed to disseminate ideas and resources for the project.


Maths Eyes goes international

The Maths Eyes initiative expanded its reach in 2013 with the Dunlaoighre-Shankill Cluster project, which involved 14 schools and adult/youth centers in a Maths trail celebration. The project was also shortlisted for the Aontas Star Awards (Leinster Category). In the same year, Maths Eyes went international with its launch in 1,000 schools in Austria. The project has since been replicated in other countries, including Scotland, England, New Zealand, Australia, and the USA.


Diversifying the Impact of Maths Eyes

In 2014, the Maths Eyes initiative made several significant strides, including being led by the National Centre for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching and Learning. The same year, evidence-based research was initiated to explore the impact of developing Maths Eyes on an individual’s view of maths. A Train the Trainer initiative was also completed with Dublin West Education Centre. In partnership with Maths Week, the Maths Eyes Competition was held, with over 600 entries from the Island of Ireland and an exhibition in March at the Department of Education.


Collaboration with Media

Maths Eyes featured as part of the three-part broadcast documentary series “Get the Numbers Write”, which follows five adult learners from the Louth Meath Education and Training Board as they bring literacy and numeracy projects into their local communities in Navan, Dundalk, and Drogheda. The adult Learners developed a maths trail around Navan.


Expanding the Impact of Maths Eyes

Maths Eyes has become an annual feature of Maths Week in Ireland. The project has been expanded and adapted in innovative ways to continue to engage the public with maths. One such adaptation is “Maths Speak,” which explores the different meanings and uses of words in the maths world and the real world. Some words have the same meaning in both worlds, while others have only a meaning in the maths world or have related but different and potentially confusing meanings. Another adaptation is “Maths Ears.” The Maths Eyes team has decided to start using their maths ears as well as their maths eyes, developing recordings containing quantitative information from the radio and television can be stored and uploaded as a resource.


Today’s Impact and Future Direction

The “Have you got Maths Eyes” initiative continues to be an important resource for teachers, students, and parents, as well as adult learners who want to develop their maths skills. In the present day, the project has expanded its reach to different countries and schools around the world. The Maths Eyes team is constantly developing new resources and ideas to engage the community and help people discover the maths around them. The project is also involved in research to investigate the impact of developing Maths Eyes on an individual’s view of maths. With ongoing support from educators and the continued promotion of maths through initiatives such as Maths Week, the future of the Maths Eyes project is bright.