About this day
Do your KS4 students wonder what mathematicians do?
At our interactive and inspirational day they will discover how classroom maths is used by people every day in fields from statistics, engineering and cyber security to research mathematics. Five renowned speakers from universities, industries and the media reveal mathematics at its very best and your students will have a whole lot of fun along the way!
Programme & speakers
Enigma and the secret world of code breaking James Grime, Mathematician and communicator
Dr James Grime looks at the fascinating history and mathematics of codes and code breaking – from ancient Greece to the present day – including a demonstration of an original WWII Enigma Machine!
About James Grime
Dr. James Grime is a speaker, maths populariser and YouTube sensation. He has toured the world with his code-breaking talk.
Lies, damned lies, and newspapers Emily Grossman, Broadcaster
Can we believe everything we read in the papers? The media constantly misuse, misinterpret and abuse statistics. Sometimes mistakes arise because of genuine errors made by experts. Sometimes data from scientists is misinterpreted or misunderstood. And sometimes the media knowingly spin or distort statistics to make a good story. Who knew?! In this interactive and amusing talk, Dr Emily Grossman takes a light-hearted look at these issues, illustrated with examples from her own experience as a TV science broadcaster.
About Emily Grossman
Dr. Emily Grossman has a degree in Natural Sciences, a diploma in Musical Theatre and a PhD in Molecular Biology. She teaches maths and science and explains sciency stuff on a range of TV and radio programmes. She is best known as a resident science expert on Sky TV’s comedy panel game-show Duck Quacks Don’t Echo (hosted by Lee Mack).
A special session of practical maths Colin Wright, Mathematician and juggler
Several games played by children of all ages turn out to have connections between them, and investigating those connections has turned up some surprising results. In this interactive workshop we get to play some of the games, see some of the connections, and discover some interesting maths and unsolved problems.
About Colin Wright
Colin received his maths doctorate in 1990 from Cambridge University. While at Cambridge he also learned how to fire-breathe, unicycle, juggle and ballroom dance.
ExoMars – Engineering for the Red Planet Abigail Hutty, Lead Structures Engineer, ExoMars Rover Project
ExoMars is Europe’s first Rover mission to Mars – a mission to answer one of mankind’s big questions: are we alone in the Universe? Abbie, the lead Spacecraft Structures Engineer, will discuss the mission’s aims and objectives, what some of the major challenges and design drivers of a mission to Mars are, and how we are using mathematics to meet those challenges.
About Abigail Hutty
Abbie works on the ExoMars Rover Mission, Europe’s first rover mission to Mars. In 2013 she was awarded the title of IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year.
Lateral thinking in mathematics Paul Sloane, Destination Innovation
Lateral thinking means coming at the problem from a different point of view, challenging your assumptions and finding a clever and different solution. It applies in Maths as well as many other walks of life. Paul Sloane is co-author of Mathematical Lateral Thinking Puzzles. He will challenge and confront students with puzzles and fresh ideas. He will show how there is often a more elegant and pleasing solution than that offered by a routine approach.
About Paul Sloane
Paul Sloane read Engineering at Trinity Hall, Cambridge. He is the leading author of books of lateral thinking puzzles, many of which are co-authored with Des MacHale. He also writes on innovation, open innovation and crowdsourcing.
Chairing the day Ben Sparks, Mathematician, musician, teacher
Keeping everybody happy and ensuring that your questions get heard Ben will help you make the most out of GCSE Maths in Action!
About Ben Sparks
Ben is a mathematician, musician and teacher, based at the University of Bath. He also works as a freelance maths enrichment speaker around the UK. He regularly gives talks and workshops to schools and conferences around the country on a range of mathematical subjects, and will play his guitar and sing at people given half a chance. He can occasionally be found in busking in city centres (he says it keeps him off the streets). Ben still gets surprisingly excited about imaginary numbers.