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.
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!"
Brigid went on to pitch her idea on Dragon's Den in Ireland.
Click on the video to view how she got on!