Pac-Man, Juggling & Maths Galore at Maths in Action Lectures for Y12
By Amrit M, Year 12
On Thursday 9th March, the Year 12 mathematicians travelled to central London for a day of Maths lectures at the Emmanuel Centre in Westminster. It was a massive conference hall and there were multiple other schools in attendance too. There were five 40 minute lectures covering a variety of Maths topics.
The first lecture was given by Matthew Scroggs, exploring the shortest route to complete a level of Pac-Man, and the 2,3, & 4D maps that games take place on. It was a brilliant introduction to the topics of Game Theory, Topology & Map Projections.
Second was Colin Wright with a lecture about Nim, a mathematical strategy game, and connections and similarities between other games and Nim. At the end, he even showed his impressive juggling skills!
Next was an ex-trader, Sophie Maclean, explaining the probability and statistics behind the market, stocks and shares, and why it’s not just as simple as buy low, sell high.
Fourth was Sara Jabbari, showing how using multiple simultaneous differential equations you can understand antibiotic resistance and tackle disease.
Finally, a celebrity mathematician – Tom Crawford – gave a talk about the millennium problems, seven tricky maths problems announced in the year 2000, worth a cool $1 million to solve (one has been solved but the mathematician behind it turned down all prizes he was offered…).
Despite initial scepticism as to how certain ideas could be presented in an accessible way, each lecture was engaging and informative. Overall, it was a fantastic experience and we left the Emmanuel Centre feeling inspired and excited to explore the world of Mathematics further.