Maths Scholar Damien Gow talks decision maths

Once again the IMA exceeded all expectations and produced a sublime workshop full of fun activities that can be brought into our teaching practice. 
The workshop was inspiring and showed scholars examples of how we could do interesting engaging activities to give pupils a flavour for the beauty of mathematics. 

Damien Gow

Decision Maths and Real Life Starts Here

Decision Maths and Real Life

The session started with a group origami session sticking to algorithms to try and maximise efficiency. It was a great example of how decision maths can be used in real life. We then moved onto using Prim's algorithm to find the shortest path to take when travelling around a theme park. All of the activity were open-ended and would really allow pupils to explore mathematical concepts for themselves, a great example of a constructivist task. 

Praying souls out of purgatory. 

This session was sublime and took to solving ratio and proportion questions where we broke down and analysed the questions. We then looked at an old mathematical instrument that could be used to measure ratio and built our own ones using card and pins.  We love battling for mathematical solutions.

old mathematical instrument

Once again Dr. Nira Chamberlain comes up trumps!
Dr. Nira Chamberlain, one of the top 100 mathematicians in the UK, gave an amazing workshop based around mathematical modelling and how it can be used in the real world. Ever wondered the probability of Aston Villa reaching the playoffs? Well, the IMA scholars were pitted against each other validating mathematical models and deciding whether the current manager needs the boot or if Aston Villa even had a chance. An apprentice style activity, we were given a short amount of time to use the model and make a presentation to try and convince the current owner to hire us and fire our competition. Fortunately my team got hired and I did not have to experience the harsh, but funny, critiques of Dr. Nira Chamberlain. 

Back to basic number theory

Next we were given Interlocking cubes and a chance to experience their vast uses in helping pupils understand basic number theory. The scholars were put back into the classroom and given ample amounts of interlocking cubes to describe concepts such us prime numbers, factors and sequences. These little cubes made visualising these concepts much easier, it was a very hands on approach stacking and locking cubes together on number lines; building up shapes to describe sequences and even describing factorising quadratics. 


To finish the day we focused on probability and did a whole class activity on collecting data and using the data to compare with theoretical probability. It was a great template for teaching an interactive lesson on probability and showing how collected data can be used. 
To conclude, the workshop was an amazing amalgamation of many talented mathematicians who brought a fantastic array of ways to teach mathematics and to inspire the next generation to love mathematics as much as we do!

If you’d like to be at pone of next year’s workshops as a Maths scholar then do follow in Damien’s footsteps. Begin the process of becoming a Maths Scholar right here. After all the process of becoming a Maths Scholar is zero until you try! Applying To Be A Maths Scholar on our website. We have so much information, guidance and help for prospective scholars. We also have a lively Twitter and Facebook feed. So why not join us and see what everyone is talking about.