Real World Maths Explained

Mathematics students at Solihull Sixth Form College were treated to lectures from visiting speakers from the University of Wolverhampton this week.

Dr Liam Naughton and Abigail Parkes from the University of Wolverhampton came into College to talk to Maths students in groups. Their focus was on the real-world applications of Maths. They explored Number Theory in the natural world, by considering the life cycle of cicadas in relation to prime numbers. They also looked into Fluid Mechanics in flight and used a small-scale aerofoil to demonstrate how this works. Finally, students learnt about Knot Theory to solve the Coronal Heating Problem, which says that temperature around the sun is higher than in the sun itself.

The lectures were interactive and students were encouraged to venture their own explanations for these real-world problems, as well as getting up and demonstrating Knot Theory themselves.

Curriculum Leader for Mathematics Scott Fisher commented:

“We are grateful to Dr Naughton and Abigail Parkes for giving up their time to come into College and talk to students in such an enthusiastic and engaging way. They were able to demonstrate how valuable maths is to a wide range of scientific disciplines and how useful it will be to our students’ future careers, both in academia and in the world of employment.”

Maths students at the College can choose from A level Mathematics and Further Mathematics, as well as Statistics.