Back to Group page

# LMS Holgate Lectures and Workshops

The Holgate Lectures and Workshops scheme provides session leaders who are willing to give a talk or run a workshop on a mathematical subject to groups of students or teachers. One of the current session leaders, Dr Stephen Connor, is based at the University of York and is looking for schools who would be interested in having him come and run a session. He can offer a variety of sessions for children aged 8 -- 18: an indicative list of topics can be found below. He's also very happy to be approached with ideas for other activities! There is no charge for the sessions beyond covering any travel expenses incurred.

If you'd like to discuss the possibility of Stephen visiting your school, please get in touch with him at stephen.connor@york.ac.uk

Example Sessions

1) Secret keeping. Workshop, age 8 – 13.

An easy introduction to the mathematics of codes, from simple Caesar cyphers to how modern-day cryptography is used to keep online transactions secure.

2) Skill vs luck. Workshop, age 8 – 16.

Is your favourite sports star really skilful, or just lucky? How can we use probability and statistics to tell whether a run of great results is pure fluke? Students will spend some time investigating patterns in repeated tosses of a fair coin, before using the knowledge acquired to critically assess real-life data.

3) How many shuffles does it take to randomise a deck of cards? Lecture, age 14+.

How many times should you shuffle a pack of cards? How do casinos (try to) ensure that their cards are well shuffled? Why should we care? And what has this to do with mathematics?

4) Surprising uses of randomness. Workshop, age 14+.

A look at how random numbers can be used to solve a variety of problems, from approximating the area of the UK, to image restoration, to decrypting simple codes.

5) Patterns and proofs. Workshop, A-level students.

An introduction to the idea of mathematical proof through problem solving. This session encourages students to spot patterns in numbers and puzzles, and to then turn their observations into theorems; this should help students with the concepts of proof by induction and proof by contradiction, and give an insight into the world of university-level mathematics.