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insight4me Mathematics: Real World Applications of Mathematics Principles – Curriculum Insights With UEA & Sheffield

March 17 @ 11:10 - 12:10





insight4me is a series of subject specific webinars for current Year 12/Year 13 students. The sessions support students’ current studies by giving an insight into particular curriculum areas whilst affording students the opportunity to talk to different universities and make informed comparisons about how Mathematics is taught.

In this insight4me Mathematics webinar for schools and colleges, two universities, The University of Sheffield and University of East Anglia, will each have roughly 30 minutes to deliver a punchy, topic based ‘micro’ talk. Within an overall session theme of Real World Applications of Mathematics Principles, the universities have the freedom to choose their own topic, a topic that links to the A Level curriculum, and use the time to convey the key points of the case studies for the Year 12/Year 13 students. Through the discussion, the universities are encouraged to provide an insight into the teaching and learning experience of this topic at university, and compare and contrast how other subject areas across the Mathematics spectrum might be treated. Students will gain an insight into how these subjects continue beyond the A-level curriculum.

By hearing from 2 unis, students will also appreciate how the further study of Mathematics can vary between institutions, contributing to the depth of their HE research and assisting informed decision making.

Full details of the university talks are below.

  • The University of Sheffield: Dr Fionntan Roukema will present Footballs, Nobel Prize Winning Chemistry, and Rubber Sheet Geometry. Distance and angles tend to be important in geometry. However, if you do geometry on a rubber sheet then you can stretch the sheet to distort distances and angles. The mathematics of rubber sheet geometry is called “topology”. In this talk we will use this geometry without distance to explain the patterns that we see on footballs, and explain how this connects to the chemistry which won former University of Sheffield student, Sir Harry Kroto, the Nobel prize in 1996.
  • University of East Anglia: Dr Robert Whittaker, Lecturer in Applied Mathematics, will present The Mathematics of Stopping a Self-Driving Car. Self-driving cars need to provide an experience that is both safe and comfortable for their passengers. In this talk, we will examine how mathematics can help ensure a smoother ride when a self-driving car needs to come to a halt at some point on the road ahead.

Students will have the chance to question each speaker and/or offer their own ideas.

This will be a dynamic, fast paced event with the universities cycling between 2 different virtual rooms. The universities will decide how to manage the time but a rough guide would be a 20 minute talk followed by questions from the schools.



Suitable for: Year 12 and 13 students studying, or with a possible interest in studying, Mathematics.

Preparation/Pre-Reading: Students may wish to consider the 2 topics and discuss some of the key elements in advance. Students can also think about questions they have about studying Mathematics at university level.

The IT Setup: The setup is similar to Skype, using a pc and webcam, although students take part as a group with the image projected on a whiteboard rather than as individuals in front of lots of pcs. Dedicated videoconferencing equipment is also compatible if available to the school. Further details are here: Connecting in to a Channel Talent Event (Please Click)

We will work with your IT department to ensure everything is set up and working prior to the event. The sessions are generally limited to 3 to 5 schools to maintain the interactive nature of the experience. In this event there will be three groups of schools taking part increasing the opportunity to participate.

Booking a Place: This is free for schools and colleges. If you have a group of students that you would like to take part in this event, please click here 

Subject to availability we will book a place for you.


March 17
11:10 - 12:10
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