Why Study Maths?
Students from Y10 and Y11 participated in an enrichment event provided by the University of Liverpool on Wednesday 27th February. The activity was focused upon the advantages of studying Mathematics at A level and beyond.
The first session was an introduction from one of the Mathematics Lecturers at the University of Liverpool. He introduced the group to some through provoking maths based puzzles, tow of which are displayed below:
How many numbers, less than or equal to 100, have only 3 factors.
Decimalise the following fractions on a calculator. What do you notice?
1/7 2/7 3/7 4/7 5/7 6/7
We then separated out for an enrichment session with students from the Mathematics Department at the University who have elected to take a Maths and Education module. Our group learned about linear and exponential growth functions. For example, if one new person shared a secret with another person every day, after 31 days it would spread to 31 people. This is an example of linear growth. However if each person who hears the secret tells 2 people, then after 30 days the secret (which certainly isn’t a secret anymore!) would be known by 2, 147, 483, 647 people (or…a quarter of the Earth’s population). This is exponential growth.
This model was then used to explain the basic reproduction number of a disease, and calculate the required vaccination rate to ensure that the spread of disease is close to linear, rather than exponential.