After a 2-year break our conference for Year 12 students, Exploring Maths, was back in great form. The mathematics department welcomed more than 200 guests at Royal Holloway who enjoyed the talks, the puzzle room and the campus tour.
Student Helpers at Exploring Maths 2022
The guests were welcomed by our vice-principal Ken Badcock who set the scene with his enthusiasm about his time as a mathematics student and showing how his studies laid the foundation for his research in aero-dynamics and his work today.
The first mathematical concept (“strategy stealing” in games) came soon after, before the first plenary talk gave an insight into encryption and in particular the Enigma machine.
Then three sessions with parallel talks (with a break for lunch and a campus tour) followed covering a variety of topics including MATLAB, Topology, Financial Markets, Traffic Jams, Pi and Games. The hands-on puzzle room full of mathematical puzzles was very popular too. This year we also run a teacher session focussing on the transition to university. The last talk was on Music in a 2000-year-old proof. Professor Rüdiger Schack not only showed an unusual proof for the fact that the squareroot of 2 is not rational but also impressed with his piano playing.
A huge thank you everyone who made this event possible: The speakers (Dr Darren Banfield, Professor Simon Blackburn, Professor Stefanie Gerke, Dr Alastair Kay, Dr Alexey Koloydenko, Professor James McKee, Professor Brita Nucinkis, Professor Rüdiger Schack) the PhD/MSc students running sessions (Felix Bradley, Gemma Hancock, Pavel Turek, Thomas Webster), the student helpers (Xu, Rion, Rehnuma, Ieasha, Khaled, Shirui) and the people working behind the scene! A special thank you goes to Laurence O’Toole who dealt with registration and any issues on the day.