School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science to host Royal Institution Mathematics Masterclasses this Spring

Maths on chalkboard

The University of Kent is hosting a series of three Royal Institution Mathematics Masterclasses for Year 12 students on Saturday 5 February, Saturday 5 March and Saturday 19 March 2022.

Have you ever wondered how data science is used to fight disease? How the billion dollar algorithm behind Google works? Whether pure mathematics and physics are as different as they seem? If you have an enthusiasm and interest in mathematics, then speak to your Maths teacher about joining in online and finding out!

The Royal Institution Mathematics Masterclass programme opens young people’s eyes to the diversity of mathematics. Through a series of extra-curricular workshops, students all over the UK meet to explore the subject in new and exciting ways. The School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science has been running Royal Institution Mathematics Masterclasses for many years. In 2021, over two hundred sixth form students from 50 different schools in Kent and London attended our online masterclass series.

Classes will run from 10.30am to 12.00pm GMT (registration from 10.10am) or from 12.45pm to 2.15pm GMT (with registration from 12.25pm). Students can choose which time they would like to attend.

This spring, the University of Kent will run the following series of classes:

Clinical Trials and Data Science
Dr James Bentham, Lecturer in Statistics

Concept of SARS-CoV-2 or 2019-ncov coronavirus

The session will describe what a clinical trial is, and will show how data from a clinical trial is analysed to find out whether new medication works or not.

Alternating Sign Matrices and Square Ice
Dr Clare Dunning, Reader in Applied Mathematics

Melting ice cubes on glass table. On white background

We shall explore the appearance of alternating sign matrices in two separate areas of mathematics, and discover how an 84-page proof of a seemingly-simple combinatorial formula could be reproven in a few pages using some tools from mathematical physics.

Google’s Page Rank Algorithm
Dr Bas Lemmens, Reader in Mathematics

Google page rank

Part of Google’s search engine is the so called Google PageRank Algorithm, named after Larry Page who is one of the co-founders of Google. It is an algorithm that ranks all websites in world according to their importance. In this Masterclass we will look at the mathematics behind this algorithm and discuss some of the difficulties Google had to overcome. We will see how matrices, graphs, and probability theory play a key role.

Attendance at Masterclasses is via teacher nomination only and places are limited. Students who are interested in attending Masterclasses should ask their teachers to contact us at: