About this day
Do your 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
For as long as we have had secrets we have had secret messages. 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. 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).
Magical maths: a practical session Ben Sparks, Mathematician, musician, teacher
Maths and magic have gone together for 1000s of years. The skills involved in analysing an illusion are very similar to the problem solving skills needed in mathematics, and even more so when the effect involves some maths itself. We’ll look at a few mathematical magic tricks, students will have a chance to work them out and then learn how to perform them.
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.
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 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.
The Monty Hall problem Emma McCoy, Deputy Head of Mathematics, Imperial College London
Suppose you’re on a game show, and you’re given the choice of three doors: Behind one door is a Ferrari; behind the others, goats. You pick a door and the host, who knows what’s behind the doors, opens another door which has a goat. Is it to your advantage to switch your choice? That’s the Monty Hall problem. Find out more with Emma this autumn!
About Emma McCoy
Prof. Emma McCoy teaches the introductory probability course on the undergraduate mathematics degree at Imperial and also teaches on the MSc in Statistics. She has given many talks in schools and been involved in the Royal Institution Masterclass series for many years. Her research interests are in the area of time series analysis.