Maths in Action at Warwick University
Pupils from Year Ten were invited to the ‘Maths In Action Day’ at Warwick University. We took part in a variety of workshops and lectures throughout the day, before hearing about 'The Creation of Number' in the afternoon.
The morning workshops were focused more on the everyday application of maths. The lectures took us far beyond the reaches of the GCSE course; ranging from balancing bodies and making art with equations, to performing mathematical magic and discovering the truth of gambling. A particular favourite was 'Peg Solitaire', a game, almost unknown to our generation, with the aim of removing all but one marble from a board. After finding out it was much harder than originally thought, we were taught the fine art of 'purging', which showed us how advanced principles can be used to win even the simplest of games.
After lunch, there was a final lecture for each group, one of which was called 'Take a Gamble on Maths'. This dealt with probability and we were asked which bets would be wise to take. Following that, all the groups joined back together to hear a presentation about the origin of numbers.
One thing that was apparent throughout the day was how enthusiastic every lecturer was about their subject. It was inspirational to see people who truly love coming to work, and are keen to brush off the stereotype of the 'soulless' Maths teacher.
Overall, it was a great day and eye-opening one, which showed us the possibilities a Maths A-Level can give you. So, although we found no conclusive answer to the origin of numbers, we did answer another question. What are the limits of mathematics? There aren't any!
We would like to thank the Maths Department for organising this trip and Warwick University for hosting this interesting and useful event.
Gemma Collins, Felix Haynes and Amber Warner-Warr – Year Ten