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Maths and Beyond Event at Warwick University

Year 10's Livi tells us about the extraordinary day at Warwick University!

On the 21st April, some year 10 girls, accompanied by Mr Ajimal, took part in a Maths And Beyond day hosted by Warwick University.  The day consisted of 4 different lectures, all just over an hour each, focusing on teaching and provoking thoughts on different mathematical topics in a unique and engaging way.

After registration and a quick briefing, we were taken to the first lecture which focused around binary numbers.  It involved foam swords, and a large amount of somewhat 'dramatic deaths' to re-enact the Josephus problem...It wasn't what we were expecting, either!

Having managed (just) to get out of the first lecture alive we were taken to the second lecture on centres of masses, where many of us participated in demonstrations: balancing cans of coke, rulers, and wine bottles to name a few. For the last event, we even helped to balance a member from another of the schools participating on a single block after calculating his centre of mass.

The next lecture was called 'The Number Matrix' and taught us all some impressive tips and tricks.  This talk also mentioned binary numbers, and the speaker even showed us a photo of her friends binary scarf (hand knitted by his mother), which when deciphered from binary read 'happy Christmas'! 

The last, (and our favourite) lecture of the day was entitled Where Do Numbers Come From? and was given by Ben Sparks, an enthusiastic and engaging speaker, who provided us with a talk we aren't soon to forget!  Not only did his lecture leave us in stitches but it simultaneously expanded our philosophical view of maths and got us to ask ourselves some pretty impossible questions.  He also left us with a way to 'break maths', and introduced us to the incredibly awe-inspiring Mandelbrot Graph.

Overall, the day really opened our eyes to the artistic, philosophical, and even humorous side to maths that is often overlooked.  There were multiple 'Wow!' moments and all students that participated agreed that the talks were beyond our very best expectations. Most importantly, we were given a few party tricks that we've no doubt will make us look like geniuses at some point in the future.

An enormous thanks to all the staff involved for arranging such a brilliant day, and Warwick University and Further Maths support programme for hosting such an incredible event.