Maths Masterclasses

Year 8 pupils took advantage of specially devised university workshops to build on their mathematical knowledge and skills.

The boys attended two Masterclasses led by Professor Alan Davies, of the University of Hertfordshire; one looked at geometrical constructions and the other focused on Applied Mathematics.

Topics included: Heron’s formula for calculating the area of a triangle; the Euler Line (the line in any triangle on which the three triangle centres of the centroid, circumcentre and orthocentre always lie), and the physics behind comic book superheroes.“The workshops were inspired by the Royal Institution of Mathematics Masterclasses,” said Assistant Head of Mathematics Wendy Fung. “The demonstration of how Superman could leap to the top of the Empire State Building and how Newton’s cradle could help Spiderman swing from building to building particularly caught the boys’ imagination.”

""“The standard of Maths was challenging but, if anything, this added to the boys’ enjoyment of the day, as can be seen from their comments,” added Miss Fung. These included:

  • It was entertaining, informative and interesting. Although it was hard the fact that it was fun diverted us!
  • I liked learning how Maths is in everything – even comic books.
  • I really enjoyed seeing my friend’s face when the ball wouldn’t bounce!
  • It was interesting to see how different theorems work together.

""Three Year 13 leavers – Jamie Mui, Abhishek Mukherjee and Vajin Patel – accompanied the visit. “They added a great deal and we are very grateful that they gave up part of their holiday to help us,” said Miss Fung. “Year 8 certainly gained a lot from attending these workshops and we are enormously indebted to Professor Davies and Dr Steve Kane for giving up their time and putting together workshops which both challenged and entertained the boys.”