Accessibility statement

# Maths outreach sessions

We offer a range of interactive sessions and general interest talks to local schools and organisations. If you have an idea for an activity not listed here, please get in touch and we will try to help.

All of these activities are subject to availability. Please contact us for further information.

### Secret keeping

An easy introduction to the mathematics of codes, from simple Caesar cyphers to modern-day cryptography.

### Enigma: how mathematics helped win the Second World War

This session uses a toy model of the Enigma machine to show how messages were kept secret during the Second World War.

### Using maths to understand growth

We use some simple maths to investigate how things around us grow at different speeds, using fingernails, knitting, croissants and Covid-19 as examples.

### Throwing sticks to find Pi

This uses the idea of repeated experiments to estimate a probability, and finds a good approximation for π along the way

### Penney Ante

Penney Ante is a simple coin-tossing game with some very counter-intuitive properties! This session explores these properties, and shows how to use the binary number system to work out optimal game strategies.

### The prosecutor's fallacy

We use Venn diagrams and simple probability to understand how statistics arising from medical tests and court cases can be misinterpreted.

### CSI Springfield

A crime has been committed in the (fictional) town of Springfield! Can you work out the identity of the culprit, using a mixture of geometry, probability and cryptography?

### Prime position: Number theory in modern mathematics and modern society

An exploration of prime numbers, from historical results to modern day advances, including how these fascinating numbers are now crucial to the security of the internet through public key cryptography.

### How many times should you shuffle a pack of cards?

A gentle introduction to the mathematics of card shuffling, involving probability, permutations and a little magic!

### How to bet and win: and why not to trust a winner

This uses probability, logarithms and differentiation, and shows how hard it is to make money through gambling!

### Bells, puzzles and symmetry: seeing the world through the eyes of an algebraist

An introduction to group theory via bell-ringing and the 15 puzzle.

### How to cheat in a triathlon

The maths hidden underneath this simple conundrum has direct relevance to real problems in ecology and evolution - how fast should a fish swim, why do little old ladies break their bones, and how do bacteria learn to gamble?

### Can plankton save the world?

The maths of ecosystems, climate change, and how to go to the toilet!