YouTube maths genius to host Aberdeen maths series workshop

Source: press release, 3 February 2023

photo: TechFest
photo: TechFest

A YouTube maths sensation will host one of eight workshops as part of a Maths Masterclass series for North-east school pupils, sponsored by Aberdeen-based Serica Energy.

Around 50 young people have signed up to attend the classes on Saturday mornings from 4 February, which are being run by STEM charity TechFest in partnership with The Royal Institution (Ri).

Dr Tom Crawford, also known as Tom Rocks Maths to his 125,000 social media followers, is a mathematician at the University of Oxford who is well-known for his inspiring maths videos, which include stripping off to explain complex maths equations and sitting an A-level maths exam without studying!

As well as Dr Crawford, pupils will hear from experts covering topics such as how to predict the likelihood of Andy Murray and Emma Raducanu winning a tennis match and how maths is used in cult TV cartoon The Simpsons.

They will also get the opportunity to test their practical skills with real-life challenges such as designing an energy system to power an island population.

The Maths Masterclasses are for second year pupils who are nominated by a teacher because they show a special interest in the subject.

The classes provide an opportunity to investigate different mathematical topics that are not taught in the classroom including maths as art, cryptography, programming, modelling and knot theory.

The workshops take place between 4 February and 25 March at Robert Gordon University and the University of Aberdeen and include a wide range of academic and industry experts who will share their love of numbers with the next generation of mathematicians and problem solvers.

The sessions are part of a national programme run by Ri that includes masterclasses in maths, engineering and computer science for primary and secondary school students.

Dr Martha Gavan, deputy managing director at TechFest, says, “We are pleased to be hosting the 2023 Aberdeen maths masterclass series and to introduce local students to exciting and engaging tutors such as Tom Rocks Maths as well as local experts within academia and industry. Hosting these workshops in the city is important to show students what they can expect from a career in mathematics and to highlight some of the real-world problems they could be solving.”

“By bringing someone like Tom, who is famous for being a mathematician, to the city we hope to open young minds to the wide-ranging opportunities to carve a career around any STEM subject they are passionate about. As well as being challenging and thought-provoking we anticipate that students will find the classes fun. By hosting the sessions within RGU and the University of Aberdeen we provide a glimpse of what it’s like to attend university and we hope this inspires pupils to consider the pursuing their passion within higher education,” Dr Gavan continues.

She adds, “Thanks to the continued contribution from our sponsors and supporters and the professionals who volunteer their time to inspire the students, which has allowed us to run this programme for 12 years and keep encouraging young people who are passionate about pursuing a career in STEM related subjects.”

Chris Kay, chair of Serica’s Education Committee, says, “We have a lot of engineers and science-based specialists on our team, so as part of our community outreach, we were thrilled to get the opportunity to sponsor TechFest’s Maths Masterclass series.”

TechFest is an Aberdeen-based charity which aims to engage young people in the four main STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and encourage them to go on to follow a career which utilises these skills by demonstrating that they are both fun and relevant in day-to-day life.

For more information on TechFest, visit www.techfest.org.uk.