Mathematics in Action lecture, Warwick University

A group of 15 A level Mathematics students travelled to Warwick University to attend their annual Mathematics in Action lecture. The presentation demonstrated to us how Maths can be applied in real life situations such as differentiation in medicine and probability in voting and sport.

The first lecture was held by Dr Sara Jabbari who spoke to us about finding new antibiotics to treat MRSA and how differentiation and complex simultaneous equations are essential parts of the process. Next Matthew Good presented the pros and cons of various voting systems and the mathematics behind them. It was then the turn of author and director of a BBC documentary, Simon Singh, to discuss the origin of Fermat’s Last Theorem and various mathematicians who have tried to prove the 356-year-old unsolved mystery. It was an incredibly interesting tale of how Andrew Wiles eventually solved the problem after devoting about 8 years of his life to it.

The final lecture of the day was from Tom Crawford who combined Maths and Physics to speak passionately about how the trajectory of different sized sports balls travel more or less, depending on where they are in the world. He was very engaging and even invited members of the audience to take part in a penalty shootout.

Overall, the day was extremely enjoyable and gave us an insight into how Maths is applied in everyday life as well as the opportunity to see a campus based university.