Three of our Year 12 students had the opportunity to attend this year’s Making Maths @ Manchester residential course. One of our students provided the following feedback:
“The two days consisted of two components: lectures and a group project. Applied mathematics was a focal point for the lectures; topics such as the reasons why a tennis ball is furry and the uses of prime numbers in security for banks were all explained in mathematical terms; the nature of the lectures was astounding as they made me realise how maths governs our lives on a daily basis.
In our groups, we were made to explore a given topic with guides and clues given by a lecturer. My group were exploring iteration; this involved formulating a proof for the fixed point of any given linear equation through paper folding. We then recycled the folded paper and made hexa-flexagons, hexagonal contraptions which have different faces (states) when folded in a certain way.
At the end of the course each group gave a talk on their research project; from this I learnt about further topics in Mathematics such as eigenvalues and the mathematical relevance of knots in a string. There was then a Q&A with the established mathematics professors at the university as well as prizes for the best talks; unfortunately our group didn’t win however I felt as if my interest in Mathematics soared over the two days and it was a memorable experience.
Overall, ‘Making Maths at Manchester’ was a great opportunity to explore challenging and creative areas of Maths as well as gain an experience of independent life at university.”