Taking young mathematicians to a new dimension

Year 10 boys were invited to consider what a four-dimensional object looks like – from a three-dimensional perspective.

The brain-stretching challenge came in a special lecture given by visiting university Mathematics Fellow and stand-up comedian, Matt Parker.

“The boys really enjoyed it,” said Assistant Head of Mathematics Wendy Fung. “It undoubtedly gave them a wider understanding of how Maths can be applied, as well as its purely theoretical side.”

""Matt’s lecture, entitled Adventures in the Fourth Dimension, also covered how to solve a Rubik’s Cube, the surprising properties of Möbius bands (surfaces with only one side and one boundary) and Klein bottles (another example of a non-orientable surface, but one which, unlike Möbius bands, has no boundary).

Matt is currently Public Engagement in Mathematics Fellow at Queen Mary University of London – a role he combines with broadcasting, writing and touring as well as visiting schools to communicate his dual passion for both Mathematics and comedy. He also tours regularly and has had a sell-out show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. His latest comedy show, Festival of the Spoken Nerd, is currently touring with scientists Helen Arney and Steve Mould.

""His latest publication is entitled Things to make and do in the fourth dimension.

Although Matt remains keen to fit in visits to schools when possible, he finds his time increasingly filled by a busy broadcasting and performing schedule. Notwithstanding such pressures on his diary, this was his fifth visit to QE.