As Christmas draws nearer, marking a major milestone in the progression of the school year, a group of enthusiastic Year 10 students turned their attention to their futures.

Now a well-established annual event, our students attended the Christmas Maths Lecture Series offered by the Further Maths Support Programme, an event designed to inspire the next generation of mathematicians by giving them a flavour of some higher level mathematics and where it could lead.

 The series, held at the beautiful Teesside University Campus, consisted of two talks, given by two very enthusiastic and engaging presenters. The first talk looked at “Maths in the Movies”, in particular how companies use CGI and animations to create realistic effects in films. Some of these areas of maths are often studied at school, at Higher GCSE but especially at A-Level, and they are sometimes the focus of questions about real-life applicability. These techniques are invaluable in this industry, and also in designing computer games, and in fact mathematics is listed as essential for any budding effects specialist, even before programming and art.

The second talk explored the concept, history and development of numbers, prompting many thoughts, offering many insights and evoking many rounds of laughter. Some of the things that we take for granted, like negative numbers and zero, were not always part of everyday life let alone higher mathematics, and this talk challenged some of the preconceptions of the students present.

Overall our students were left with a small taste of the wider possibilities and grand sense of opportunity that being highly mathematically literate can lead to in addition to the satisfying sense of wonder that can come from studying mathematics to a higher level. Watch this space for future maths events and inspirations.