Leeds Maths Masterclasses

Oluwaseyitan Olusoga – Year 9 Student

Two Year 9 students, Oluwaseyitan Olusoga and Katya Rawat, were recently nominated for the Royal Institution Mathematics Masterclasses at the University of Leeds. Olu has written the following short article on his experiences. You can also read more about recent successes in mathematics at GSAL here, and can follow @GSALmaths on Twitter. CPD

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For six weeks, I attended sessions introducing me to new concepts of maths at the University of Leeds. The masterclasses opened my mind to new maths topics and gave me a chance to meet new people who share an interest in the subject. The topics ranged from knots, statistics, 3D Nets, the power of 2, chaos and cryptography.

For example, we learnt about an area of maths related to knots and were taught how to untangle a knot using a picture of it using just three rules: untwist, unpoke and slide. These rules allowed us to prove if two knots were the same. We were also taught a way to describe knots so that if we were given a code for a knot we would be able to draw it.

It’s an opportunity to learn something new every week, which is what made these sessions so interesting.

In another example, we used statistics to try and understand data from an unusual incident and learnt to summarise data using cross-tabulation. In the end we realised that we were dealing with figures from the Titanic as most of the women and children survived (in an evacuation plan women and children are sent to safety first).

Out of all the topics, my favourite topic was “be a paper mathematician”, where we used our knowledge of 3D nets to create pull up 3D shapes. As well as teach you new topics, the masterclasses help you to learn skills that may prove useful later in life and open your mind to many maths related jobs eg code analyst or a statistician.

Finally, it’s an opportunity to learn something new every week, which is what made these sessions so interesting. Oluwaseyitan Olusoga