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.

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