Friday, 17 June 2016
Presdales Mathematics department was delighted to welcome back former student and distinguished Mathematician, Dr Hannah Fry. Known to many as a television presenter and mathematical wizard, Hannah left Presdales sixth form in July 2002 to pursue her love of mathematics at university and beyond.
On Friday 6th May she spoke to an enthusiastic audience of Years 9 – 13 students and staff, about the amazing ways in which numbers come into everyday life.
To start with she challenged the audience to produce a list of genuinely random numbers: students provided the number of twitter followers they had, or numbers randomly selected from newspapers. All agreed these were genuinely random; Dr Fry then asked two students to open sealed envelopes in which she had made predictions about the numbers. The predictions proved to be correct! Dr Fry then explained that this was neither magic nor guesswork – but sound mathematics.
Her talk covered Galileo, a dating agency and flights of starlings. Students were fascinated to hear about the mathematics of the work-place and, in particular, to discover the role mathematics had played in investigating the crimes of Harold Shipman.
Finally, a practical demonstration of how police might use mathematics to solve a crime proved fascinating.
NB Information about Dr Fry
TED talks Hannah Fry: The Mathematics of Love
Hannah Fry: Is Life really that complex?
BBC Radio 4: The Curious Cases of Rutherford and Fry (5 episodes available on iPlayer) Television: BBC 2 Horizon: How to Find Love Online, broadcast Monday 25th April 2016 Calculating Ada: The Countess of Computing, broadcast September 2015