June 12th, 2012
Fourth form pupils had a whole morning of Maths, with six consecutive maths lessons. Not only did they all learn something new, but they also clearly enjoyed it. They were told to bring a pen, calculator and an open mind; they went away with an insight into the diversity of Mathematics and its importance in their everyday lives. Ideas ranged from the simple but effective Chinese hand signals for numbers to the mind blowing expansion of the universe. They learned how prime numbers are essential to the public key cryptography used for the protection of the internet. Many perhaps knew the link between binary and computing code, but they learned more about the algorithms encased in barcodes and the Quick Response codes they see every day. They saw that Pythagorean triples appeared long before his time and discussed why Fermat’s last theorem took so long to prove. They were interested to see that critical path analysis is an essential planning tool, without which the sports hall construction could have taken a great deal longer. Finally, if you are making decisions, be it in a game or something with real consequences, then Nash Equilibrium might just help, just so long as others do not change their minds.