St Mark’s sixth formers use their brainpower at University of Essex

Education / Fri 29th Sep 2023 at 07:15am

THE University of Essex invited Sixth Form mathematicians from St Mark’s to their Awesome Applied Maths Opportunities Day, offering students a glimpse at the functionality of maths in our ever-changing world.

Dr Chris Antonopolus started the day with an introduction to the Maths of Neuroscience. Demonstrating to the audience how mathematical modelling can unveil the complexities of the brain, showcasing the profound connection between mathematics and neuroscience.

This was followed by Dr Maria Filippetti’s session – Who do you think learns more in a day – you or a 5-month-old infant? Exploring infant learning, whilst shedding light on statistical learning and brain development research.

Year 12 student, Joshua Rowe was given the opportunity to observe his own brain activity, highlighting the practical relevance of mathematics in cognitive development. Josh said – “It was good to get out and about, to see maths in action. I really enjoyed the Robotics Arena and the session on astrophysics.”

Dr Lisa Voigt’s presentation on AI in astrophysics transported students to the cosmos, emphasising the role of machine learning in unravelling cosmic mysteries, including dark matter and dark energy. Sparking interest amongst the students, who began to wonder aloud – how do you programme artificial intelligence?

Mr Bedford, Head of Maths at St Mark’s said – “A highlight of the day was the Robotics Arena tour, which showed us real world applications of mathematics in robotics. Our students were given the opportunity to interact and play with the robots and talk to programmers at the top of their field.”

Year 13 student, Jinthiya Kalaiselvan was in agreement with her teacher – “I enjoyed seeing the robots, it was weird but cool to interact with them, I was nervous at first! I am going to study economics at university, so it was also useful to witness the lectures that highlighted links between maths and interrelated disciplines like economics.”

The Maths Day at the University of Essex seems to have left a lasting impression on St Mark’s students about the role of maths in our ever changing world.

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