Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Working as a Maths Ambassador on the Isle of Sheppey

Last Thursday, I was working as a student ambassador at the Isle of Sheppey at the Isle of Sheppey Academy. The isle of Sheppey is an island off the northern coast of Kent, England in the Thames Estuary, some 46 miles (74 km) to the east of London.

My role was to support two Further Maths Support Programme co-coordinators in delivering presentations to year 10 and 11 students from the Academy, encouraging them to study Mathematics up to the age of 18 by studying A Levels in Mathematics and Further Mathematics.  My role was to deliver a 5 minute talk about the degree I am  studying which is BSc Hons Mathematics, what my degree entails and where I hope to go after the completion of my undergraduate degree. I also outlined the differences between school/ college life and university life. The main difference which I strongly emphasized was the need for more independent study at undergraduate level.

There were lots of useful hints and tips with regards to what the major topics of mathematics students should be confident in. Some of these topics are; algebra, understanding and the use of trigonometry, standard angles and their ratios, Pythagorean triples, Language – identity, equation, expression, ratio, root, solution, asymptote. 

One of the major points which was stressed throughout the duration of the presentation was that students who are interested in studying Mathematics and Further Mathematics at A Level was that they should continue to keep practicing throughout the summer holidays. Of course this is not what most students expect to hear, spending their summer holidays studying maths, however, for those keen students who are eager to do well and gain top grades on their A Levels and gain admission into University it is essential.

One of the reasons mathematics is so useful in the modern world is that the amount of technology we are using is increasing all the time.  New technology relies on a lot of mathematics. In computing and mobile technology for example, programming requires mathematically proficient people. Games depend on using A level maths idea to create realistic artificial environments. Mobile networks involve the application of techniques introduced in Decision maths.
Unfortunately the supply in the UK of good mathematicians is not enough to keep pace with the demand by employers, - hence there are plenty of career opportunities for mathematically able young people.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Back from Bangladesh

Hey, my dear reader’s I’m back from my home country and what have I come back to? Bad weather. Well truthfully, it wasn't much better back home. It was very cold and chilly, just without the rain and snow.

So during my holidays I had lots of fun. I went back for my cousin’s wedding, as I mentioned in my previous blog prior to leaving for my trip. There were three major parties. Ceremonies throughout the two weeks I was there, all of which took place after the New Year. 

On the 2nd of Jan was the mehndi party, which is a traditional party which can take place a few days before or even the day before the wedding. All three events were held in the evening at or after 7pm. The bride (my cousins) wore bright yellow and all her friends and I wore purple. I believe it was a good contrast. The evening was enjoyable overall. Relaxing with the family and taking pictures with my cousin.  There was also a yummy cake that we fed the bride and she fed us, and at the end of the evening the cake was cut up and distributed among the guests who attended the party.

On the 4th of Jan (coinciding with my brother’s birthday) was the day of the wedding, again it was an evening programme. This time everyone wore different colours and the bride wore red – similar to chilly red colour. I wore hot pink and my mum wore royal blue. This time I guess the event was more emotional compared to the mehndi party as we were giving the bride away at the end of the night. However before the sad moment arrived, we all did have great fun.

On the 8th January was the walima party and this time we had to travel to Dhaka from Sylhet where the ceremony was taking place. The walima party is from the groom’s side where as the wedding party is from the bride’s side. Considering it takes between 4 to 6 hours by car to get to Dhaka, we all had to wake up quite early. This time it involved an overnight stay at a hotel in Dhaka as it would be too tiring to get there, attend the ceremony and then come back to Sylhet all in one day. The ceremony was once again took place in the evening. The day after the programme, everyone went back to Sylhet and the bride and groom came back to stay with us for a few days.

Overall it was a really good holiday and I enjoyed it very much.