A calculated attempt at humour

The whole of Year 10 – 180 boys – engaged with the lighter side of Mathematics when award-winning mathematician and comedian Matt Parker gave a special presentation.

The event, looking at the application of Mathematics, was organised by Assistant Head of Mathematics Wendy Fung.

“We invite Matt in to encourage the boys to see that there’s more to Maths than just completing exercises from a textbook,” she said. “His lectures help boys recognise that Maths is all around us and useful in many, many ways. As part of this lecture, he explained how all digital displays are spreadsheets: for example, watching TV is looking at a spreadsheet and listening to coordinates!”

This year’s talk was based on The Number Matrix. “There are numbers all around us that make our modern lives possible,” said Mr Parker. “From rescuing your lost words in text messages to protecting your Facebook profile, we rely on numbers to transmit and protect information – not just numbers, but text, pictures and sound – every day. In this highly engaging session, your eyes will be opened to the ubiquitous sea of numbers we all live in.”

""Matt is based in the Mathematics department at Queen Mary, University of London, and is a previous winner of the People’s Choice Award at the national FameLab competition. He is a regular speaker for both the Royal Institution and the BBC. He is a highly enthusiastic mathematician who says his life goal is to make people more excited about Mathematics. His favourite number is currently 496!