Statistics, shapes and…sausages!

Fifty boys from Year 11 enjoyed an afternoon of creative and engaging Mathematics lectures during a visit to the West End.

The boys heard three talks from three of the country’s most popular Mathematics speakers, followed by a question-and-answer session open to all.

The talks at the Maths Inspiration Show at the Palace Theatre, London, were: Maths on the Back of an Envelope, by author Rob Eastaway; Yeah, but is it significant? by Dr. Jennifer Rogers (pictured), of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Adventures in the Fourth Dimension, by Matt Parker of Queen Mary University of London.

""The first lecture was on approximation when using Mathematics in real-world situations. Mr Eastaway considered how to make estimates for the answers to questions such as ‘how many sausages are eaten a day in the UK’ and ‘how heavy are the pyramids?’ The lecture also mentioned that such questions are often asked in university and job interviews.

The second lecture explored the use of statistics and data, particularly in pharmaceutical research, involving type I and type II data. 

The third looked at geometry and particularly at shapes in the fourth dimension, such as the hypercube, as well as examining strange shapes such as the Klein bottle.

Assistant Head of Mathematics Wendy Fung said: “The boys had an enjoyable afternoon finding out about how Maths can be used in a variety of contexts.”

""Year 11 pupil Rakul Sri said: “It was really well presented and made Maths more interesting than I’d realised.”  Classmate Sahil Shah added: “The talks were very entertaining and eye-opening and showed us the importance of Maths in the real world.” 

The afternoon was chaired by freelance science writer Helen Pilcher.

The QE boys were accompanied by Head of Mathematics Jessica Steer and Mathematics teacher Sean McGouran and Extra-Curricular Enrichment Tutor Elaine White.