School of Mathematics

Prize visit

Professor Colin Aitken recently played host to the winners of a mathematics competition in the Netherlands.

The Radboud University Nijmegen Mathematics Tournament has been running since 1992. It is for teams of pupils aged 16 to 18 years and its purpose is to show school children that maths is fun, challenging and relevant to society. Each year the competition has a theme and the winners go on a trip related to the theme. This year the theme was Forensic Statistics and the winners visited the University of Edinburgh to meet Professor Aitken who is an expert in the field. He has written several books on the subject and has been called as an expert witness.

During their visit the students had to develop their own statistical techniques to identify  the author of an extract from a crime novel, using novels by each of several crime writers as background data. They also met an Edinburgh mathematics student who is from the Netherlands and learned about opportunities to study here.