About PolyMath

The Company

Polymath Limited is a start-up company (March, 2014) based in Wexford , Ireland. It is run by retired maths teacher, Brigid Mc Bride.

Her idea for the all-in-one maths instrument occurred to her while she was still teaching but she didn’t follow up on it until after she had retired.

The ‘ polyMath’  is manufactured in Waterford by Hasbro, now Cartamundi.

How the idea for the polyMath came about

One day  in class a student was taking a long time to draw a set of parallel lines when making a table for a graph. There was no need to be so particular but that was her nature.

Some time later, out of school and in bed with a bout of ‘flu, this student crossed my mind and I thought that it was a pity that there wasn’t a stencil which would enable her to draw a set of evenly-spaced parallel lines quickly . It was obvious that the shape of this stencil would have to be a rectangular frame with cross bars. Then  I wondered if anything else could be added.  I could see immediately that a ruler could be on one of the outside edges and that a 180 degree protractor could be on the other three sides. I could also see that, with the aid of another straight edge, it could be used  to draw a line parallel to a given line through a given point – as is usually done using two protractors.

It occurred to me that if it could be used as a compass it would be an all-in-one geometry set.  I couldn’t see how that would be possible and put it out of my mind.  About ten minutes later , a eureka moment! Put in tiny holes and to draw a circle you would hold the instrument in position with a pencil in one hole and rotate it with another pencil in a second hole. Problem solved!





The instrument

With the polyMath

  • You can draw circles – it’s a compass. 
    Radii of circles you can draw
    From    1 cm     to     8 cm     in 1 mm  intervals
    Also     0.5 cm     8.5 cm     9.0 cm     9.5 cm     10.0 cm
    If you need to draw a circle, given its centre and a point on the circle, use a ‘slide’.
  • You can draw and measure line segments – it’s a 10 cm ruler
  • You can draw a line parallel to a given line (with the help of any other straight edge) – as with two setsquares
  • You can draw and measure angles –  it’s a 180°  protractor
  • You can draw a set of parallel lines – it’s a parallel line stencil
  •  It may also be useful as a reading aid.

PolyMath Statistics

Material Weight Dimensions
Clear ABS 11 g 12 cm X 7 cm X 1.8 mm


The polyMath is

  • Accurate
  • Small
  • Light
  • Flexible – but not unbreakable
  • Easy to store
  • Convenient to distribute and collect
  • A safe compass
  • Approved for State Exams

A set of 30 weighs    330g   and occupies     500cm3


The polyMath is

  • Accurate
  • Small
  • Light
  • Flexible – but not unbreakable
  • A safe compass


  • Can replace any instrument you lose (if you have a set)
  • Can replace the set
  • Is approved for State Exams