Past Fridays@2

6 March 2020
14:00
James Munro and Mareli Grady
Abstract

Have you ever had to explain mathematics to someone who isn’t a mathematician? Maybe you’ve been cornered at a family gathering by an interested relative. Maybe you’d like to explain to a potential employer what you’ve been doing for the last three years. Maybe you’ve agreed to explain vector calculus to a room of 13-year-olds. We’ve all been there. This session will cover some top tips for talking about maths in a way that makes sense to non-mathematicians, with specific examples from the outreach team.

21 February 2020
14:00
Dr Vicky Neale and Dr Richard Earl
Abstract

Mathematicians need to talk and write about their mathematics.  This includes undergraduates and MSc students, who may be writing a dissertation or project report, preparing a presentation on a summer research project, or preparing for a job interview.  We think that it can be helpful to think of this as a form of storytelling, as this can lead to more effective communication.  For a story to be engaging you also need to know your audience.  In this session, we'll discuss what we mean by telling a mathematical story, give you some top tips from our experience, and give you a chance to think about how you might put this into practice.

14 February 2020
14:00
Dr Vicky Neale
Abstract

When your lecturers say that they expect you to study your notes between lectures, what do they really mean?  There is research on how mathematicians go about reading maths effectively.  We'll look at a technique (self-explanation training) that has been shown to improve students' comprehension of proofs, and in this interactive workshop we'll practise together on some examples.  Please bring a pen/pencil and paper!

7 February 2020
14:00
Prof James Maynard
Abstract

Prime numbers have been looked at for centuries, but some of the most basic questions about them are still major unsolved problems. These problems began as idle curiosities, but have grown to become hugely important not only in pure mathematics, but also have many applications to the real world. I'll talk about some of these quests to find patterns in the sequence of prime numbers.

31 January 2020
14:00
Dr Owen Cotton-Barratt
Abstract

Mathematics has provided us with several extremely useful tools to apply in the world beyond mathematics.  But it also provides us with mathematicians -- individuals who have trained habits of careful thinking in domains where that is the only way to make progress. This talk will explore some other domains -- such as saying sensible things about the long-term future, or how to identify good actions in the world -- where this style of thinking seems particularly desirable as progress can otherwise be elusive or illusory.  It will also consider how a mathematician's curiosity can help to identify important questions.

24 January 2020
14:00
Nick Andrews
Abstract

Taught courses offer a range of distinctive learning opportunities from lectures to tutorials/supervisions through to individual study. Orchestration refers to the combining and sequencing of these opportunities for maximum effect. This raises a question about who does the orchestration. In school, there is a good case for suggesting that it is teachers who take responsibility for orchestration of students’ learning opportunities. Moving to university, do students take on more responsibility for orchestration?

In this session there will be a chance to look back on the learning opportunities you experienced last term and to reflect on how (or even if) they were orchestrated. What could be different in the term ahead if you pay more attention to how distinctive learning opportunities are orchestrated?

6 December 2019
14:00
Abstract

Would you like to meet some of your fellow students, and some graduate students and postdocs, in an informal and relaxed atmosphere, while building your communication skills?  In this Friday@2 session, you'll be able to play a selection of board games, meet new people, and practise working together.  What better way to spend the final Friday afternoon of term?!  We'll play the games in the south Mezzanine area of the Andrew Wiles Building, outside L3.

29 November 2019
14:00
Dr Richard Earl and Dr Neil Laws
Abstract

This session is particularly aimed at fourth-year and OMMS students who are completing a dissertation this year. The talk will be given by Dr Richard Earl who chairs Projects Committee. For many of you this will be the first time you have written such an extended piece on mathematics. The talk will include advice on planning a timetable, managing the  workload, presenting mathematics, structuring the dissertation and creating a narrative, providing references and avoiding plagiarism.

22 November 2019
14:00
Prof. Christl Donnelly
Abstract

Outbreaks and epidemics from Ebola to influenza and measles are often in the news. Statistical analysis and modelling are frequently used to understand the transmission dynamics of epidemics as well as to inform and evaluate control measures, with real-time analysis being the most challenging but potentially most impactful. Examples will be drawn from diseases affecting both humans and animals.

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