On Monday, 4th March, in the Emmanuel Centre, Westminster, The Training Partnership scheme hosted one of their Maths in Action days, a series of maths lectures designed to show how maths can be useful in later life. Six inspiring lecturers took to the stage with the unenviable task of capturing the imaginations of 750 GCSE students on a Monday morning by the power of mathematics. Safe to say, they managed to do just that.

In brief, here’s how they did it…

Cerys Bradley & the Dark Net (@hashtagcerys)

To start off the day, UCL PhD student Cerys talked us through what the Dark Net is, why it’s used and how it’s used. Then, focussing on its use for crime, proved how maths (almost surprisingly for some), plays a very active role in the stopping of crime and in sustaining our society. An on-stage experiment proved the complexity of the net itself, and some lightning-fast arithmetic proved how useful maths really is when put into action on the front line.

Hugh Hunt, the Mathematician Behind Guy Martin’s Wall of Death (@hughhunt)

Hugh Hunt, who was behind the dare-devilish attempt of motorist Guy Martin’s attempt to ride a motorcycle on the wall of death in 2016, resulting in a record 78mph speed, began by showing us the life-or-death considerations he had to make when designing the wall of death for the World Record Attempt, drawing parallels between the Earth and a spinning top, before revealing his passion for gyroscopic precession through several examples from space probes to cats. His enthusiasm for his content posessed the room, who listened intently as boomerangs flew around the auditorium.

Mystery Singing Hedgehog’s Exam Tips (@singinghedgehog)

After this, a Maths teacher, preferring to go by the name of Mr H, or singinghedgdehog, spoke to us about exams. Pre-empting a collective sigh of despair at the title, we first laughed our way through some twitter reactions from the 2015 GCSE maths exam. After this, some valuable resources and techniques for exams were thankfully accepted, as they are sure to come in handy sometime soon. 

Philip Moriarty: Heavy metal and quantum physics

Philip Moriarty, a quantum physicist with a love for heavy metal and his guitar, took to the stage to reveal the maths in everyday life. For example, showing how swirls in a coffee mug can be recreated on a sub-atomic level. He then, with many high-decibel demonstrations, pointed out the maths in music – yet another parallel drawn to maths.

Investigating chocolate fountains with the excuse of ‘maths’ (@Pecnut)

Using maths that we had already studied, postdoctoral researcher, Adam Townsend, proved his knowledge in the field of chocolate fountains after his 'is that even a thing?’ type-PhD. It seems, chocolate really is a science. Although no chocolate was distributed, the fountain of usage for maths we had already covered was fascinating, ending in a conclusion that blood would be a perfect alternative liquid for a chocolate fountain.

Sixth lecture – Bobby Seagull’s ultimate maths team (@Bobby_Seagull)

Finally, University Challengecaptain Bobby Seagull talked us through his ideal Mindset for Mathsteam of historical figures Gauss, Lovelace, Pascal and Ramanujan, intertwined with some of their most ingenious theories. However, there did seem to be a recurring message…


After Seagull’s mathematical rap to end the day, and a few repetitions of the above sentence, I’m sure we were all intrigued by both the calibre of the speakers and the uses for maths in everyday life that we really wouldn’t have considered before.

Personally, I would recommend this event for anyone with a remote interest in maths – you are sure to be surprised!

 Education in Action run many of these sorts of events, which can be found at https://www.thetrainingpartnership.org.uk.