The Invariant is the student magazine for maths at Oxford. Find here the latest issue, published in Michaelmas term 2022 and information on our first writing contest.

Writing contest

Submissions are open for the Invariants’ first writing contest until 11 February 2024 at 11:59pm (GMT). UPDATE: the deadline has been extended to Sunday 18 February 2024 at 11:59pm (GMT).

You may submit to one or both categories: essays and articles. Up to three from each will be chosen to feature in the magazine. A prize of £300 will be distributed to the winners.

The contest is open to all. 



Articles should have a strong mathematical content, but should be written in a clear, narrative style, emphasizing the main ideas rather than the technical details. The main audience of the magazine consists of university students in mathematics and writers should keep this in mind. The best articles will be the ones that achieve a balance between accessibility and mathematical depth. This should not discourage students in other subjects from submitting. On the contrary, they are highly encouraged to write about the interactions between their own subject and mathematics. 

The articles are not expected to be original research. However, they should be original pieces, exposing known results and examples in a novel way. It is not necessary that the articles be written exclusively for the Invariant, and previous papers and research are accepted as long as they are adapted to the style of the magazine.

Writers are encouraged to use examples and illustrations to make their work easier to read. The style of a magazine is more narrative and less technical than that of a journal, but precision and rigour should be preserved as much as possible.


Essays can take almost any form and be on any topic related to mathematics. Here are a few guidelines. Essays should have a title, and a goal clearly outlined at the beginning. Good essays will tackle a clearly formulated problem and explore multiple aspects before proposing a solution. Some essays will not tackle a specific problem, but all should be written with purpose and well structured.

Students and experts in other areas are particularly encouraged to submit essays combining their own subject and mathematics.

Theme suggestions

Here are some suggested themes. These are meant as inspiration. Submissions on any topic will be accepted.


  • Classification in mathematics
  • Mathematical games
  • Probability and certainty
  • Measurement
  • Duality.


  • The purpose of mathematics
  • The daily life and work of the mathematician
  • Science and mathematics and/or Art and mathematics
  • Intuition and method
  • The birth of mathematics.

Rules for submission

Submissions should be between 800 and 2,000 words and be sent by email to with subject matter ‘Invariant contest – Essay/Article – Your name’. You should include in your email your name, institution, your piece in PDF or Word format along with a latex file (for articles) and any illustrations if relevant. 

Submissions to the magazine

Submissions are always welcome from anyone and can take almost any form, including technical expositions, thought pieces, essays, case studies and literature reviews. We are keen to see as wide a range of topics as possible.

If you’re interested in contributing, get in touch at any time. You can send an abstract outlining your piece, a fully fledged article, or simply your ideas.

We can be reached at

The previous issue of our magazine can be read here: