Sessions

Our talks and workshops are listed below. Visit this page for a quick way to see which sessions are suitable for different age groups/group sizes. 

Please note some of these sessions are only delivered by certain presenters. Please contact us to find out which speakers are available before deciding on sessions.

Shapes and Smoke Rings

Shapes

KS3, KS4, KS5. Presentation - Matt, Katie or Zoe. 

Topology is an extension of geometry focusing on properties of shapes that stay the same when they're stretched and deformed. This interactive presentation introduces students to topology and explores some unusual properties of shapes. It features exciting demonstrations with real smoke rings, and will provide students with ideas to explore further at home or in class.

Topics: linking puzzles, Mobius loops, spherical geometry, smoke rings & fluid dynamics.

Mathematical Magic

Mathematical Magic

KS3, KS4, KS5. Presentation or workshop - Matt, Katie or Zoe.

Magic tricks might seem impossible, but they're often just a case of following a set of steps - just like a maths problem. This session will give students the chance to apply and develop their mathematical thinking skills to reverse-engineer magic tricks.

Topics: reverse engineering a magic trick, counting-based card tricks, learning a maths card trick. 

The Hidden Maths of Technology

Spreadsheets

KS3, KS4, KS5. Presentation -  Matt, Katie or Zoe.

There are numbers all around us that make our modern lives possible. From rescuing your lost words in text messages, to taking selfies, maths is always there making things work. This session will show students the mathematics behind modern technology and emphasise the importance of learning maths for a career in technology.

Topics: barcodes and check digits, error correction, binary numbers & ASCII, mathematics behind digital images.

Freaky Probability

Dice

KS3, KS4, KS5. Presentation - Matt, Katie or Zoe. 

Humans are generally bad at intuitively understanding probability - not because they don't understand maths, but because it's often counterintuitive. Through a series of examples including audience games, students will discover that the chances are not always what we might imagine. This session will help students to use their maths skills to predict and understand the outcomes of games and real life scenarios. 

Topics: lottery probability, birthday coincidences, Penney's game.

Maths in the Simpsons

Simpsons

Upper KS4, KS5. Presentation - all presenters. Workshop - Matt only. 

Very few people associate The Simpsons with mathematics, but if you look closely at the episodes there is plenty of mathematics to be found. This presentation will touch on a number of different higher level areas of mathematics, in particular some number theory topics, while illustrating that an understanding of mathematics will be an asset in any career.

Topics: prime numbers, number theory, Fermat's Last Theorem. 

Adventures in the Fourth Dimension

4d

Upper KS4, KS5. Presentation - Matt, Katie or Zoe. 

This presentation introduces students to mind-bending shapes that exist in the 4th dimension in a highly visual and easily accessible manner.  Students will have the opportunity to apply their mathematical thinking skills to higher dimensions and non-orientable shapes. 

Topics: mobius loops, Klein bottle & 4D surfaces, hypercubes, 4D Rubik's cube.

Paper Folding and Problem Solving

Dodeca

KS3, KS4, KS5. Workshop - Matt, Katie or Zoe. 

Even a simple piece of A4 paper has interesting mathematical properties, and can be folded to build amazing structures. In this workshop students are challenged to use their mathematical and spatial thinking skills to build a paper dodecahedron in teams, and test their problem solving skills simply by folding paper. 

Topics: building a dodecahedron, geometry, 3D spatial thinking.

Domino Computing

Domino Computing

KS4, KS5. Workshop - Matt, Katie or Zoe. 

A single domino in a run can either be standing up or lying down - and this is analogous to the zeroes and ones of the binary number system used by modern computers. In this workshop, using only dominoes, students will build logic circuits and will see how a computer that adds numbers can be constructed entirely from dominoes. Students will use their problem solving skills and will learn how computers function on a basic level.

Topics: binary numbers, addition in binary, logic gates.

Just from Zoe

Numbers in the News

Newspapers

KS4, KS5 - Presentation. Zoe only.

In a world of fake news it's important to be able to think critically about what we are told in the media. This thought provoking talk featuring audience games and experiments takes students on a tour of misleading statistics from real news stories. Choose this talk to inspire the statisticians of the future and empower your students to make informed decisions in their own lives.

Topics: Misrepresentation of data, miscommunication of risk/chance including relative risk and the national lottery, and randomised response demo. 

Just from Katie

Maths's Greatest Unsolved Puzzles

unsolved puzzles

KS4, KS5. Presentation or workshop - Katie only.

While mathematicians are brilliant, there are still questions they can't answer. Every mathematical question is a puzzle to be solved, and there'll be plenty of puzzles for you to chew on too. This session will illustrate some open problems in mathematics, while including chances for the audience to solve puzzles of their own.

Topics: four colour theorem, Pythagoras' theorem, Fermat's last Theorem, prime numbers. 

Fractals and Dynamical Systems

Menga Sponge

Upper KS4, KS5. Presentation - Katie only.  

Fractals are infinitely detailed mathematical objects, and studying them uses a range of maths, from algorithms and geometric constructions to infinite limits and different ways of measuring dimensions. This session will introduce some mind-blowing new concepts while showing the mathematics behind natural structures and how it's used in modelling.

Topics: fractal constructions, dynamical systems, infinity, computer graphics.

Just from Rob

The Maths of Money Games

Money Games

KS4. Presentation - Rob only. 

If you think games are just for fun, then think again.  Games contain some of the most important maths you'll ever need in daily life, from managing money to out-thinking competitors. In this highly interactive talk in which the stakes get ever higher, your students will be on the edge of their seats playing games where they might win something.

Topics: Probability, permutations, percentages, y=1/x (the reciprocal function)

I Wasn't Expecting That: Maths of Intuition

intuition

High KS4, KS5. Presentation - Rob only.

As humans we depend on our intuition to make many of our decisions, but sometimes intuition goes wrong. Discover some of the best examples of mathematical surprises. Brace yourself, and be prepared to get things wrong….

Topics:  Pythagoras, geometry, mathematical modelling, probability, proof.

Pick a Card, Any Card

cards

Rob only. Workshop - KS4, Presentation - KS5.

Once upon a time, GCSE probability and combination questions were allowed to feature packs of playing cards. This session is a reminder that a simple pack of 52 cards is one of the best self-contained maths kits you can get. In this session you will encounter a range of games, puzzles, tricks and curiosities that contain a multitude of mathematical ideas, but with a magical twist.

Topics: Probability, proof, commutativity of multiplication, combinations.

The Hidden Mathematics of Sport

sport

KS4, KS5. Workshop or Presentation - Rob only.

What is the fairest way to arrange a penalty shoot-out? Should a 1500 metre athlete lead the pack or hover at the back? Was Chris Robshaw right to go for the try in England's famous World Cup rugby defeat to Wales? And where's the best place to aim on a dartboard? This session looks at the hidden maths behind a range of sports, with ideas for investigations that will provide great enrichment for sports fans in the classroom.

Topics:  Mathematical modelling, circle theorems, probability, patterns.