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Code cracking to game shows: A-level students get inspired by maths

Posted on 01/07/2013
Headstart Maths

Have you ever wondered what would be the best strategy to win a TV game show such as Million Pound Drop or The Weakest Link? Or found yourself trying to figure out the best tactics to complete a Sudoku puzzle? A-level mathematics students discovered the answers to these questions and more at an interactive one-day conference Exploring Maths on 27 June.

Held on campus with staff and students from the Department of Mathematics, attendees listened to Professor Keith Martin discussing Alan Turing’s cryptographic legacy and whether there is any cryptography in Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code, as well as taking part in a range of workshops on everything from using mathematics to detect lies to the mathematics of doodling!

Meanwhile, other A-level students were busy finding out about more applications of mathematics on trips to the Bank of England and at Thorpe Park as part of the Headstart Maths Summer School. The three-day residential course organised by Royal Holloway included a Grapevine session where a range of professionals talked about how studying maths helped them climb the career ladder.

Both events were a huge success – largely due to our fantastic teams of undergraduate student ambassadors who not only made sure the events went without a hitch but who spent time talking to A-level students about life at university, discussing their own experiences and answering numerous questions.

Both events are organised by the Department of Mathematics and Royal Holloway’s Outreach and Widening Participation teams. See online for further information about our Science Outreach programme and departmental outreach activities.



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