East Midlands Branch events 2015-16

East Midlands Branch events 2015-16

Thursday 24 September 2015 Branch Dinner at Spice 45, meet 7:15 pm in the restaurant for a meal starting 7.30 p.m.
The Branch Dinner is an informal event to provide a congenial atmosphere to meet with fellow members of the IMA and their partners and guests. Spice 45 is a mid-priced restaurant specialising in Indian food and has a (limited) ‘English Menu’. We will be paying individually on the night.
Spice 45, Leicester Road, Narborough, Leicester, LE19 2HL

Thursday 1 October 2015 Mathematics in the Rail Industry A talk by David Worsley (Network Rail and Visiting Lecturer at Newcastle University) starting at 7:30pm.  Main Building, University of Derby, Kedleston Road, DE22 1GB
[Speaker’s slides are available on request from Branch Chair]

Abstract: David Worsley is currently Project Risk & Value Manager for Network Rail’s London North Eastern Route, and was formerly Senior Strategic Planner for the East Coast Main Line. He is also a Visiting Lecturer in the Centre for Railway Research at Newcastle University. He will be talking about various applications of mathematics in the rail industry, including aspects of project management, engineering, risk management, rail economics and strategic planning. He will also briefly discuss potential career paths in the industry.

Wednesday 14 October 2015 Looking Mathematically at English Decorated Window Tracery.  An illustrated talk by Hugh Williams starting at 7:30pm.  EMMTEC Lecture Theatre, Brayford Pool Campus, University of Lincoln.

Abstract: The tracery (stonework) of mediaeval decorated windows (c. 1250 – 1350) may not seem an obvious area for mathematical exploration but the speaker has been doing that on and off for over 20 years and will share some of his discoveries in this illustrated lecture.

The topics will include:

  • The names that are used today for styles (e.g. Geometric, Intersecting and Reticulated) are 19th century inventions and not well defined.
  • Classification rules using only visual properties, not metric ones, will be introduced and how they lead to an understanding of the geometry needed for construction and constraints of the architects.
  • Qualitatively it appeared likely that in some windows of the Flowing style what appear at first sight to be simple circular arcs must change radius at some point. The advent of digital cameras and simple programming has sorted this and other interesting results discovered.

Tuesday 3 November 2015 Maths, Magic and Playing the Guitar A performance by David Acheson (Jesus College, University of Oxford) starting at 7:30pm.  Lecture Theatre B13, Physics and Astronomy Building. University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD

Abstract:  What’s special about the number 1089? How can pizza help with proof? And what has all this got to do with playing the guitar? Join David on a tour of surprises in mathematics, with practical demonstrations.

Wednesday 2 December 2015 Mathematics of beauty: On infinity, fractals and recurrent sequences A talk by Ovidiu Bagdasar (Derby University) starting at 7.30 pm.  CTLLT4 (Teaching and Learning Building), Nottingham Trent University, Clifton Campus, Clifton Lane, Nottingham  www.ntu.ac.uk/about_ntu/maps_travel/campus_maps/index.html.

Abstract:  Queen of the Sciences, Mathematics provides a language in which to formulate and analyse the world around us. Most  often,  beauty  was  linked  to  nature  or  arts,  and  assumed  to  belong  to  poets,  musicians,  painters or…critics. However,  while  infinity  was  initially  described  by  philosophers,  it  was  the  mathematicians  who proved  that  it  was  infinitely  diverse. This  talk  will  illustrate  how mathematicians  can  be  servants  of  beauty. Not  through  verses  or  poems,  but  through  formulae  and  equations. The examples discussed include paradoxes of infinity, fractals and sequences. Some recent research results regarding complex recurrent sequences  are  also  presented,  for  their  intrinsic  beauty  and  potential  applications. These are linked to generalized convexity, number theory, enumeration problems, geometric patterns and random number generation.

Thursday 11 February 2016 ‘Making a top ten maths app’:  creating online games to encourage independent learning & mathematical thinking A talk by Richard Lissaman (Mathematics in Education and Industry) starting at 7.30pm.  Schofield Building, Room 0.013, Loughborough University

Abstract:  MEI and the Sigma Network recently partnered to create a free maths game called Sumaze! It attempts to introduce mathematical topics, such as logarithms and the modulus function and then set related puzzles. In the first six-weeks after release in mid-October Sumaze! had been downloaded over 10,000 times. Here are some interesting comments received from users about Sumaze! as a means to engage and facilitate learning:

I was visiting with my 15-year-old grand-daughter this afternoon and mentioned the Sumaze! app. This girl is something of a mathophobe, but no sooner had I mentioned the app than she downloaded it to her iPad. Then it was all that I could do to pry it away from her to talk about adding rational functions.

Last week I was introduced to a 10-year-old boy described as “keen on maths.” I showed him Sumaze!, let him hold my phone, and then didn’t get it back for an hour. The most interesting thing to me was that he’d not yet encountered inequalities in his school work but, like any kid, he wanted to try every game in the box, including the one on inequalities. With absolutely no coaching from me, he figured out what < and > must mean.

From a maths lecture in HE: The whole family are on it now – it is addictive in a positive way.

This session will cover the creative process of designing Sumaze! and a more general discussion of the role of gaming and technology in maths education. Sumaze! is available now for iOS and Android.

Dr Richard Lissaman is online resources coordinator for Mathematics in Education and Industry and the designer of Sumaze! His experience in education games includes a secondment to Mangahigh.com, a games-based learning company. He is a textbook author and has extensive teaching experience at undergraduate level and A level. His work includes the promotion of mathematics to young people and supporting teacher and students with problem-solving skills in mathematics.

Wednesday 23 March 2016 From Fibonacci to da Vinci:  the Italian commercial revolution A talk by Fenny Smith starting at 7:30pm.  Main Building, Lecture Theatre OL1,  University of Derby, Kedleston Road.  The Branch AGM will precede this talk starting 7.15pm

Abstract:  The two Leonardos mark the approximate bounds of a period of prolific commercial activity in southern Europe, particularly in Italy, during which our modern numerals became known and accepted into everyday use.  This talk will trace the journey of the new numerals from India through the Middle East and into Europe, and explore their reception here, and why merchants  of  the  time  found  them  so  attractive  that  they  were  prepared  to  make  the considerable effort required to learn how to use them.

Image credit: Train by Extra Zebra / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

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