Fractals and board games feature in Mathematical workshops and lectures

A university-hosted Mathematics enrichment day gave Year 10 boys the opportunity to take part in interactive activities as well as to hear from some of the UK's top mathematicians. The day at the University of Hertfordshire (UH) was designed to allow students to explore how mathematics can be used in a variety of contexts – including some of the most popular games. Sixteen Year 10 pupils from QE attended the event.

The activities included a ‘circus’ run by Rob Eastaway, author and director of the Maths Inspiration enrichment programme, which included a game called Zequals, in which participants had to estimate answers to calculations by rounding up.

The lectures were:

Games with a twist; from Monopoly to Yukky Choccy presented by Mr Eastaway

  • How long is a piece of string? which looked at how to calculate fractal lengths, presented by Dr Steve Kane, Associate Dean of School at UH
  • How high will it bounce? on mechanics, delivered by Alan Davies, a professor of Mathematics at UH and a trustee of the Royal Institution of Great Britain
  • The wisdom of crowds presented by Dr Hannah Fry, of University College London, who specialises in Complexity Theory.

The enrichment day was heartily endorsed by the QE boys.  “I thoroughly enjoyed the lecture on how to use simple Maths to win games! It was very educational and entertaining and gave everyone a greater understanding of how Maths is evident throughout the world. This is an experience we will never forget,” said Bushry Basheer.

“I enjoyed the lectures, especially the one on why birds fly in patterns across the sky, and the lecture about how Maths is involved in strategies to win games,” said Jonathan Beresford of Year 10. “However, my favourite part was the Maths quiz during lunchtime.” 

“We had the opportunity to explore Maths in a different way.  The lectures were very interesting and interactive.  It was an experience to remember,” said Ishanka Amarasinghe. “It was an interesting experience and it showed us a different side of Maths, in real-life use,” added Sanchit Agrawal.