Our Royal Institution Mathematics Masterclasses, jointly organised with Napier University and Heriot-Watt University, are interactive and hands-on super-curricular classes designed to stimulate and encourage young people in the art and practice of mathematics. Masterclasses are designed to stretch and inspire keen and talented pupils from all over Scotland, allowing them to broaden their mathematical knowledge and develop a sense of enjoyment in the subject. Classes are led by top experts from academia and industry, and cover a broad range of mathematical topics.
Our Mathematics Masterclasses series, jointly organised with Napier University and Heriot-Watt University, runs for five weeks in the spring term, starting in February. Every Saturday morning, a different speaker is invited to share their favourite part of mathematics, which could be an interesting game they've played, an aspect of their cutting-edge research, a magic trick, or an unexpected connection between maths and another subject. Classes are never just a dry lecture, but are highly interactive and a great opportunity for pupils to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Schools from across Scotland are invited to nominate up to five S2 pupils to take part in the series; this year we will accept around 300 pupils, from a mix of state and private schools. Parents cannot nominate their child directly, but are encouraged to speak to their child's teacher if they are interested. Pupils are selected based on their enthusiasm for mathematics and their work ethic rather than purely on their mathematical ability. You can find out more about Royal Institution Masterclasses here.
If you are a school teacher and you are interested in nominating your pupils to take part in the program, please contact Francesca Iezzi (firstname.lastname@example.org). She will send you relevant information.
The Edinburgh & Lothians Mathematics Masterclasses are supported by the University of Edinburgh, Napier University, Heriot-Watt University and the Royal Institution. If you are interested in offering us financial support for future years then we would be glad to hear from you!
Francesca Iezzi (University of Edinburgh)
Tessellations: between Maths and Art
Maths and Art are often seen as completely different subjects but there is more that connects them than you might think! In fact, Mathematics has influenced many artists both in ancient and modern times, from Celtic Art to Islamic Art, from Leonardo to Esher. In this class we will focus on tessellations, their importance in Maths, and how this topic has inspired artists of all times Time permitting, you will have a chance to get creative and make your own mathematical masterpiece...
Heather Yorston (University of Edinburgh)
Always, Sometimes or Never: an Introduction to Proof
How do we know some things are true in all cases? This interactive workshop looks at how to assess some statements and is an introduction to proof. Some algebraic thinking will be introduced at an appropriate level emerging from basic concepts of numbers.
Ruby David-Jekyll (University of Edinburgh)
Is there a link between Maths and Linguistics?
Although Maths and Linguistics may seem like completely different subjects and are taught differently in schools, Linguistics puzzles can be approached very similarly to Maths puzzles and are a new and fun way to develop your problem-solving skills. In this class we will explore this link through puzzles that are in a language that you (and I) may not have any familiarity with. I will talk you through some of these puzzles and you will get a chance to do some yourselves!
Chris Guiver (Edinburgh Napier University)
Area and Shape
We shall explore the properties of areas and perimeters of shapes - from the familiar to the (hopefully) new. There are lots of practical situations where we would like to know the area or perimeter of a shape, but we shall see that computing these quantities is not always so straightforward. The mathematical concept of infinity crops up with some rather unexpected consequences. The online session will contain some presented components from me, and some time for practical activities for the participants. I hope to see many of you there.
In-person @ Heriot-Watt University
Lars Schewe (University of Edinburgh)
Operational Research: Finding the best decision
Mathematics is used to find the best decision: Scheduling projects, finding the best way to pack things, finding best delivery routes and more. In this masterclass, we will look at some examples of how Mathematics can be used to make good decisions and what the difficulties are.
In-person @ Edinburgh Napier University
Gems from Greek Antiquity
We will discuss some of the beautiful mathematics developed in ancient Greece such as the geometry in Euclid’s Elements and the fundamentals of numbers.
In-person @ University of Edinburgh
Understanding Sound (mathematically)
What is it to hear sound? What is sound made out of? What kind of sound is musical? What is harmony? We will investigate these questions, perform some strange experiments, build up new sounds out of old, and take sound apart into pieces.