Welcome to the new look IMA Winter e16+ newsletter. The IMA (Institute of Mathematics and its Applications) exists to promote mathematics in all its forms. By registering for this newsletter you will be able to keep up to date with mathematical people, activities and possibilities relevant to your age group. To register, just send us an email.
In these newsletters you will find out about careers that make use of mathematics; career profiles; short articles that show how mathematics is used in the real world; mathematical videos, links to interesting websites; problems and puzzles; useful advice and other mathematical information.
If you are thinking about studying mathematics or statistics at university then the good news is that you are likely to be highly employable once you have finished your degree. In fact a recent report shows that between 2011 and 2013 the number of people working in jobs where mathematical sciences qualifications are essential rose by 20%.
Unlike some university subjects, mathematics doesn’t lead you down one set career path. In fact mathematics and statistics graduates go on to follow a huge variety of different career paths. Check out the MathsCareers site to find out more.
In every newsletter we feature a selection of career profiles to show that studying maths can lead to a huge range of interesting jobs. Visit our Career profile page to see lots more.
Ellen Brooks-Pollock: Lecturer in Infectious Disease Modelling
After completing a PhD in mathematical epidemiology, Ellen now works as a lecturer in infectious disease modelling at the University of Bristol. She uses mathematics to model the spread of disease.
Gabriel Campbell: Java Developer
Gabriel has used his Applied Mathematics degree to help him pursue a career in software development, currently working on logistics software which helps suppliers transport fruit from South Africa to Europe.
Gabriel writes: “I think there is great scope for mathematicians in the world of computing. Being at a stage where the demand for technology is so high, I think an even greater number will enter and embrace this and even combine these two fields in higher studies and/or research.”
Leonie Coverley, Management Accountant
As a management accountant for Lloyd’s Banking Group Leonie writes: “I love the fact that I can work with numbers but it is not dry and boring – bringing the finances to life for other people and helping them make the right decisions is really rewarding.”
Sumitra Sribhashyam, PhD Student in Management Science
Sumitra is studying for a PhD in Operational Research (OR), analysing how terrorists may make decisions depending on their state of mind and the state of the environment.
The aim is to try and use such analysis to support risk management and policy making.
The Beauty of Mathematics
Your teacher may have heard of some of these, but will be impressed that you know their names! How many did you know already?
Who would have thought that you could work out area by counting dots! Find out more in this article on Pick’s Theorem.
In the latest edition of the online mathematics magazine Chalkdust learn how to fold platonic solids using tube maps. If you can’t get hold of tube maps then other leaflets will do.
This is a site which lists the special properties of individual numbers. Did you know for example that forty is the only number whose letters are in alphabetical order or that 64 is the smallest number with seven divisors?
Maths in the Real World
Read about how researchers are tackling what are known as ‘phantom’ traffic jams.
The Secrecy Scare
We are always being told to keep our data safe, so why would anybody want to ban encryption?
Read about how mathematics plays a vital role in this controversial and vitally important area.
You may have appreciated the beauty of a tiger, but have you ever wondered where its stripes come from?
What might surprise you is that mathematics is behind the formation of a tiger’s stripes and that its stripe pattern is even governed by a set of equations!
Videos and Apps
The game Sumaze! is a new free app for Apple and Android mobile devices.
It combines mathematics and problem-solving with the pleasures of being an addictive puzzle game and is particularly suitable for A-level students.
This one minute video highlights the 1001 ways in which maths is used in the real world. The video was made by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) in the U.S. and shows its members talking about how they use maths on a daily basis.
Who would have thought that the times tables could generate the most intricate and beautiful patterns? Be prepared to be amazed!
Maths in the News
A maths problem previously tackled with the help of a computer, which produced a proof the size of Wikipedia, has now been cut down to size by a human. Read more in the New Scientist article.
James Stewart’s calculus text books made him very rich. He spent his fortune on Integral House, an award-winning architectural marvel inspired by calculus, which is now on sale after he died last year.
The winners of science and maths prizes worth $22m have been announced at a glittering ceremony in Silicon Valley. The Breakthrough Prize is backed by Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg and Google co-founder Sergey Brin, among others.
Competitions and Puzzles
The IMA Maths Careers website runs two competitions a year, giving out fantastic prizes, including ipods, android tablets, and cameras, amongst others.
Check the website regularly so that you don’t miss your chance to take part!
Maths Careers / Citi Money Gallery poster competition
Imagine you won £1,000,000…. What would be the very first thing you would buy? How would you spend the rest of the money? IMA Maths Careers are working with the Citi Money Gallery at the British Museum and asking you to mathematically display how you would spend £1million.
The winning posters from students aged 11-13, 14-16 and 17-19 will receive an Android tablet and family tickets to the latest exhibition at the British Museum (under 16s are entitled to free entry to exhibitions). There will also be five ‘highly commended’ certificates awarded in each group.
The closing date is the 14th January 2016. Find out more.
Schools Plus Competition
The British Society for the History of Mathematics is inviting young people aged 11 to 19, who are in secondary education, to explore the question “what the world would be like without mathematics?”. Enter their new competition.
The deadline for entries is 24th March 2016.
Puzzle of the Month – December
Here is a problem to puzzle over during the Christmas holidays.
Historical Mathematician Poster Competition Spring 2015
Our previous poster competition has now closed. The winners were:
11-13 age group: Hollie Mulroy, Sandbach High School and Sixth Form College, Cheshire.
14-16 age group: Emily Howarth, Sandbach High School and Sixth Form College, Cheshire.
17-19 age group: Tai Tzu Chiu Samantha Eastwood, York College, York
A full list of winners is available on the competition page.
MathsJam is a monthly opportunity for like-minded self-confessed maths enthusiasts to get together in a pub and share stuff they like.Puzzles, games, problems, or just anything they think is cool or interesting.
Check out the MathsJam Website for more details. (You might need to check with the organisers first if you are under 18 and want to attend.)
Maths Inspiration is one of the largest maths enrichment programmes for teenagers in the UK. It’s a chance for Year 11s and sixth formers to experience the UK’s most inspiring maths speakers live, in big venues, presenting mathematics in the context of exciting, real-world situations.
Explore the Maths Inspiration website to find details of the nearest event which your school or college could attend.
The FMSP organises a range of events for students including mathematics enrichment events, competitions and conferences for Key Stage 4 and post-16 students.
Find out more information about FMSP student events taking place around the country.
Can you solve any of the live maths problems posed by the NRICH team? A really great resource if you love solving maths problems and are looking for a challenge.
Plus is an online magazine which aims to introduce readers to the beauty and the practical applications of mathematics.
A handy way to access maths formulae: a compact ‘credit-card’ sized information sheet that folds out to reveal an incredible amount of maths formulae for both school and revision use.
A great site designed to help bridge the gap from school to university study. Video tutorials, with diagnostics, summary text and exercises, take you through more than eighty topics in the way you choose.
A sample list of companies which employ mathematicians.
Download a free guide to studying maths at university.
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