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MathemAgora 2021 Online Festival

Monday 12th to Thursday 15th July 2021

An electrifying ‘market place’ of mathematical and educational ideas

King’s Maths School is delighted to host eight virtual talks. Each talk will be held via Zoom and can be registered for by following the links below.

You can find out more by reading the flyer:

Dr James Munro: Pascal's Triangle

Monday 12 July 16:30-17:30


Admissions and Outreach Coordinator; Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford. Stipendiary Lecturer at New College.

Synopsis: In Pascal’s triangle, each entry is the sum of two entries from the row above. It is absolutely full of patterns, so it is a mathematician’s paradise. In this talk, we’ll explore those patterns together and solve some puzzles, and then we’ll invent different versions of Pascal’s triangle with increasingly chaotic behaviour.

Bio: Dr James Munro coordinates the admissions process for the undergraduate Maths course at Oxford. He is responsible for making sure that the Mathematics Admissions Test is set and marked. He also works on outreach projects to promote mathematics. He is currently planning content for the University of Oxford’s UNIQ summer school, and runs a weekly maths live stream for people thinking of studying maths at university.

Click here to register for James Munro's talk.

Lucy Rycroft Smith: Coffee and cake: Cambridge Mathematics Espressos

Monday 12 July 18:00-19:00

Lucy Rycroft Smith

Framework developer and writer at Cambridge Mathematics.

Synopsis: Since leaving the classroom to become a maths education researcher, writer and designer, Lucy has written, co-written or edited 37 Espressos: filtered maths education research summaries for teachers. Lucy has also conducted research into what makes a good (and not so good) research summary, and this has helped her refine the design and focus of Espressos. She will discuss what she has learnt and why it matters.

Bio: Lucy taught mathematics for over ten years across primary, secondary and the Further Education sector, including as an Associate Lecturer with the Open University. She is an award-winning mathematics resource designer and a freelance writer. She writes and speaks on education for the Guardian, the Chartered College of Teaching, the BBC and the Times Educational Supplement and hosts the TES podcast Mathematips.

She is the co-editor of Flip the System UK: A Teachers' Manifesto (published by Routledge in 2017) and writer of The Equal Classroom: Life-Changing Thinking About Gender (2019). She is now a researcher and writer on the Cambridge Mathematics Framework, with particular specialism in discrete mathematics and combinatorics and research communication to teachers. She is currently studying for her PhD in maths education at the University of Cambridge.

Click here to register for Lucy Rycroft Smith's talk.

Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter: Mathematical Concepts in the Age of Covid

Tuesday 13 July 16:30–17:30

David Spielgelhalter

Statistician and Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk in the Statistical Laboratory at the University of Cambridge.

Synopsis: The pandemic has focused attention on numerous mathematical ideas, from exponential growth to the probability that your Covid test is correct. But these can be tricky to communicate.

Bio: Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter FRS OBE is Chair of the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication in the Centre for Mathematical Sciences at the University of Cambridge, which aims to improve the way that statistical evidence is used by health professionals, patients, lawyers and judges, media and policy-makers. He has been very busy over the COVID crisis. His bestselling book, The Art of Statistics, was published in March 2019. In 2011 he came 7th in an episode of BBC1’s Winter Wipeout.

Click here to register for Sir David Spiegelhalter's talk.

Dave Hewitt: Grid Algebra: an intuitive way to approach early algebra

Tuesday 13 July 18:00-19:00

Dave Hewitt

Director of Mathematics PGCE, Loughborough University.

Synopsis: Algebra can be made more intuitive for learners. We will explore one piece of software and look at research evidence.

Bio: Hewitt taught for 11 years before working for the University of Birmingham and now Loughborough University running mathematics initial teacher education courses and working with Masters and PhD students. His research interests are centered around the notion of the economic use of time and effort in the teaching and learning of mathematics. He has focused particularly on how algebra is taught and is currently the Leader of the Algebraic Thinking working group for the European Society for Research in Mathematics Education.

Click here to register for David Hewitt's talk.

John Mason: Summing Infinite GPs as a Study of Shifts of Attention

Wednesday 14 July 16:30-17:30

John Mason

Maths education expert and author.

Synopsis: How ‘reading’ visual displays concerning the sum of infinite GPs illustrates how shifts of attention play out in teaching and learning.

Bio: Having spent 40 years at the Open University supporting teachers of Mathematics in all phases, John continues to explore mathematical ideas arising from pedagogic situations. His interests are in mathematical problems solving, the use of mental imagery, the role of shifts of attention in teaching and learning, and accumulating useful pedagogical actions.

Click here to register for John Mason's talk.

Sophie Carr: May the (Bayesian) stats be with you

Wednesday 14 July 18:00-19:00

Sophie Carr

Founder, Bays Consulting.

Synopsis: Don't underestimate Bayesian statistics - when you think you've mastered it, you realise just how little you know

Bio: Sophie grew up loving Lego, physics and aeroplanes. Whilst working as an aeronautical engineer, she became interested in information overload and learnt about Bayesian statistics which changed her career path. Sophie is still utterly fascinated by aeroplanes, but it turns out she loves data, numbers, maths and statistics even more. She’s the founder of Bays Consulting and the World’s Most Interesting Mathematician.

Click here to register for Sophie Carr's talk.

Dr Martine Barons: Saving the Bees with Maths

Thursday 15 July 16:30-17:30

Martine Barons

Director of the Applied Statistics & Risk Unit at the University of Warwick.

Synopsis: We know that bees are important pollinators of our food. How do we know the best way to support them?

Bio: Martine switched to a career in mathematics from business and the third sector. As Director of the Applied Statistics & Risk Unit at the University of Warwick, she links cutting edge mathematical research and the problems of society, business, government and industry. Martine is Vice President (Learned Society) of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, a member of the Newton Gateway to Mathematics Scientific Panel and the UK National Network representative for the European Service Network of Mathematics for Industry and Innovation.

Click here to register for Dr Martine Barons' talk.

Tom Francome: Theory and Practising in Mathematics

Thursday 15 July 18:00-19:00

Tom Francome photo

Senior Enterprise Fellow: Maths Education Centre, Loughborough University.

Synopsis: Most teachers appreciate the value of practising but what do we know about effective practising in mathematics?

Bio: Tom became Senior Fellow in the Centre for Mathematical Cognition in Loughborough University’s Mathematics Education Centre after several years teaching in schools, notably winning the TES Award for 'Maths Team of the Year 2015' and as a mathematics teacher educator. Tom works to connect practitioners with research: integrating basic research, academic scholarship, and practical experience. Tom is currently researching the nature of practising in mathematics and co-author of Practising Mathematics.

Click here to register for Tom Francome's talk.