Maths in Action

On 23 November, we went to Warwick University for a day of Maths lectures. We left at 7.30am and after 3 hours’ journey, we arrived at the University.

The first lecture was Bad Statistics: What They Don’t Tell You on the News by Michael Blastland. He talked about why statistics give you some of the best bad-news, bad-science and bad-politics.

It was nicely followed by Dr James Grime who talked about Enigma and the Secret World of Code Breaking. We heard about 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!

After lunch, we had three more lectures starting with Vicky Neale, a mathematician from Oxford, who talked about how Prime Numbers are fundamentally important in mathematics and they have a lot of beautiful properties. She also taught us about some of the unsolved problems that mathematicians are working on today.

Then, the author of popular maths bestsellers, and the infamous Monday maths puzzle for The Guardian, Alex Bellos, showed us how life reflects numbers and numbers reflect life. He discussed psychological responses to mathematics and demonstrated how very simple rules can generate very complex behaviour.

The final talk was our favorite. Kyle Evans, the FamLab Winner of 2016, and guitar-playing maths lecturer, talked about the hidden maths in pop music. He answered many questions like: Which Beatles song is very hard to march to? Is it realistic to love someone more and more each day? And what would pop music sound like in Flatland?

Overall, it was an amazing opportunity to be able to listen to these incredible speakers.
Thank you Mr Mobbs!

Anna & Shu (Sixth Form Pupils)