Maths in Focus
Faculty in Focus: Maths
In 2023 our Maths Faculty in Focus Week coincided with the International Day of Mathematics and Pi Day* on Tuesday 14 March.
The question posed in assemblies to pupils in Year 11, Year 10 and Year 7 (and many thanks to Edward H in Year 9 for challenging Mr Ellen to investigate this!) was this: ‘Who is more well-known: Pythagoras or ‘The Rock’?’
This was an opportunity to explore the popularity of well-known personalities and their social media appeal compared with a mix of famous mathematicians (dead and alive) and the ubiquity of their ideas and theorems.
Needless to say, Pythagoras** was estimated to be the most well-known, based on his long-standing appearance in millions of text books globally. Even if only 10% of the global population have come across his work, that’s still over 800 million people who are aware of him (even if as adults you cannot remember his famous theorem**), compared to something like 365 million followers of The Rock on social media!
During the week, pupils in Key Stage 3 were also challenged to join our Famous Mathematicians Trail, searching for 12 famous faces, finding out what they were famous for and piecing together a 12-sided shape anagram. Could you name these mathematicians?
‘I loved the assembly, it was a bit like Cats vs Dogs, but with maths!’ said Liberty (Year 7)
“It was interesting to remember the importance of different mathematicians through the ages.” Alfie (Year 11)
Mr Ellen, Assistant Head of Maths
* Pi Day
Pi Day is celebrated on the 14th day of March, written in the American style ie 3/14. Pi, or π, is a number (aka a mathematical constant) that represents the ratio between a circle's circumference and its diameter, and is approximately equal to 3.14159. For any circle, the distance around the edge is a little more than three times the distance across. Find out more...
Pythagoras’ Theorem can be used to calculate the length of any side in a right-angled triangle. The longest side of a right-angled triangle is the hypotenuse, which is always opposite the right angle. Pythagoras' theorem states that, for all right-angled triangles, 'The square on the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares on the other two sides'. Find out more...