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Maths show adds up to an inspirational day

01 December 2017

On Monday 27 November, Sixth Form mathematicians attended the Maths Inspiration Show at the Alexandra Theatre where we waited with anticipation for the talks to begin.

The theatre erupted with laughter as the host, Timandra Harkness, greeted the audience, consisting of many schools from around Birmingham, with mathematical jokes and a summary of the upcoming day.

Our first speaker was an energetic engineer, Hugh Hunt from Cambridge University and Channel 4, who wowed the audience with his explanation on “Maths in a Spin" using props and videos to describe the science behind spinners and bouncy balls. He also entertained us with his comic scientific experiments in which he invited multiple students to come and join him.

After this, Dr Sammi Buzzard took to the stage with her talk entitled "A Slippery Situation", about the very topical subject of global warming and whether it would have an affect on future generations. She studied maths at the University of Exeter and now uses her knowledge in her work in polar regions and ice caps. She taught us how to calculate the Earth’s temperature which dazzled us all.

Finally, we were given a talk called “The Sacred Geometry of Chance” by the mathematician and musician Ben Sparks. He studied mathematics at the University of Oxford and now works at the University of Bath. He explained to us the maths behind the probability of gambling. It was an intriguing and interactive talk in which he used mathematical equations and factorials to place a bet against one of our girls; it proved almost impossible for him to lose. He finished his lecture with a song to explain all we had learned, in a beautiful, melodic way.

The inspirational morning was brought to a close with a quick-fire competition followed by questions and answers to the three speakers. We really enjoyed this event and were all enlightened with new facts, so we would like thank the Mathematics Department for giving us an amazing opportunity to develop our mathematical skills.

By Amy and Poppy, Year 12

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