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Volunteer Story: Dean Bunnell

Volunteer Story: Dean Bunnell

“Back in 1992 I was due to take a group of 70 children on a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award trip, when Dr Tony Gardiner asked me if I would help marking the JMO paper

I hadn’t met Tony before but had discussed with him how the children at my school had performed on JMO papers over the past few years. This was difficult, but I had two other teachers supporting me over the trip. I went to the Lake District then to Birmingham University, then back to Low Wray.

It was hard going but I really enjoyed marking the papers. When I got back to check how the ten groups were going on, four groups were missing! At 5am some of us set out on the route they should have come on and some of us on the route they should leave. They had seen us from their tents but they didn’t get out because it was raining. Kids!

In 1996 the UKMT was formed and Dr Peter Neumann asked me if I could help to mark IMOK and JMO papers. I continued to mark them both for over twenty years. 

In 2002 Andrew Jobbings asked me if I’d make up questions for IMOK, Junior Maths Olympiad and Senior Maths Challenge, which I still do to this day. I love making mathematical questions. It was an honour to work with fantastic mathematicians and friends, some of whom are listed below:

  • Howard Groves, MBE, is Chair of the Junior Maths Challenge/Intermediate Maths Challenge problems group. We often ran before breakfast along the Leeds to Liverpool Canal at Intermediate Maths Olympiad Kangaroo and Junior Maths Olympiad marking weekends. On one occasion we got back to discover that there had been a fire alarm while we were running and everyone had had to stand on the pavement outside the hotel in their night clothes. Only Howard and I found it funny.
  • MT (Mary Teresa) was innovative in all she did. She started the Maths Circles and Team Maths Challenges. We went all over the country setting up Team Maths Challenge competitions and Maths Circles. They were exciting times.
  • Andrew Jobbings helped me grow as a mathematician. Andrew, Howard, MT and I have worked together for the UKMT over 25 years.
  • Gerry Leversha lead Maclaurin, and I lead Hamilton for ten years.
  • I was made Chair of the Senior Mathematical Challenge, 2008 to 2011, until I chose to change to help the S/TMC and worked for many years with Stephen Mulligan, (who was chair of the TMC sub trust at the time), writing the TMC Group and STMC Relay.
  • Dennis Pinshon asked me to make up Group and Shuttle questions for Primary Team Maths Resources. A delight working for young children.


It has been a pleasure to work with them and many others.”

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Volunteer Story: Dean Bunnell

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