11-19 October equals Maths Week at NUI Galway. NUI Galway’s School of Mathematics will dispatch lecturers, such as Professor Michel Destrade and Dr Ray Ryan (pictured), and postgraduate students to deliver interactive talks and workshops making maths fun.
Oct 01 2014 Posted: 10:05 IST

Schools in Galway will welcome NUI Galway experts into their classrooms to deliver interactive workshops during Maths Week 2014, from 11 to 19 October. In a further celebration of all things mathematical, a nationwide schools competition PRISM will be run, while a series of public talks will illustrate the many links between art and maths.

Maths Week is an annual national event aimed at primary and secondary schools, to promote appreciation, understanding and awareness of maths and its relevance to society, education and technology. On request from teachers, NUI Galway’s School of Mathematics will dispatch lecturers and postgraduate students to schools for interactive talks and workshops.

On Thursday, 16 October, the School of Mathematics will launch and host the nationwide maths competition PRISM (PRoblem solving for Irish Second level Mathematics). PRISM can be run in each interested school at junior and/or senior levels. Registered maths teachers can download a full package (problem sheets, answer keys, etc.) for their classes. The website generates numerical and graphical summary statistics of student performances in real time and identifies the top-performing schools and individuals.

“Maths Week Ireland promotes awareness, appreciation and understanding of maths through a huge variety of events and activities. We have been involved in Maths Week from the start, and year-on-year there is a growing interest in the subject,” said Dr Ray Ryan, Head of the School of Mathematics at NUI Galway. “It all adds up. Teachers are finding new ways of teaching maths, academics are broadening the way they communicate maths, and younger people themselves are a lot more maths savvy. Our year-round schools programme, which includes school workshops through our TY Friday initiative, shows us there is a wonderful appetite for learning maths in fun and exciting ways.”

Tom Banchoff is a Professor of Mathematics at Brown University in the US who has a deep interest in relating mathematics to art. On Friday, 17 October, he will deliver two public talks to secondary school pupils. ‘Maths Spans All Dimensions – Geometry and Computer Graphics’ is aimed at junior cycle students and will show how geometry and computer graphics play important roles in animated movies, dance, physics, geology, literature, and art. This exciting show will be illustrated by computer generated images and animations.

For senior cycle students, ‘The Fourth Dimension and Salvador Dali’ explores the famous artist Salvador Dali, who was fascinated by mathematics and science. The artist managed to feature some advanced topics like the fourth dimension and catastrophe theory in his paintings.

Teachers or individuals interested in arranging visits, the public talks or the schools competition should visit http://www.maths.nuigalway.ie/outreach/MathsWeek2014.shtml or email tim.downing@nuigalway.ie.

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