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On Wednesday 22 January, the School had the pleasure of hosting Matt Parker, founder of the “Think Maths” project, for a fun-filled day of workshops and lectures. Matt Parker is a highly enthusiastic mathematician, who has made it his life goal to inspire people to share the real passion he has for his subject. Over the years he has earned a reputation for communicating mathematical ideas in a very engaging and entertaining way.
During his visit to St John’s, Matt delivered three sessions. In the first of these, “The Number Matrix: the Hidden Mathematics of Technology”, pupils explored the numbers all around us that make our modern lives possible. From rescuing lost letters in text messages to protecting their Facebook profile, Matt discussed how we rely on numbers to transmit and safeguard information. In the second session, “Freaky Probability”, pupils were shown several probability situations that challenged their expectations, before learning how they could use mathematics – hypothetically – to win free money. Finally, in a mind-expanding talk, Matt carefully led students into the world of four-dimensional shapes and their three-dimensional shadows. The thought-provoking subject content, combined with Matt’s enthusiasm and sense of humour, made this a very enjoyable day. Even the staff learnt something new, in the form of card tricks to baffle their pupils!
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