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University masterclasses add up for young mathematicians

Wednesday 7 February 2018

Two young maths masterminds are taking their favourite subject to a higher level after being invited to attend a prestigious course at the University of Leeds.

Luke Rawsthorne and Abi Boggs, Year 9 pupils at The Grammar School at Leeds, were nominated by the school for the Royal Institution Mathematics Masterclasses at Leeds, a six week course hosted at the university on Saturday mornings. With just 40 places available for pupils from schools across the city, selection to the course is a significant accolade.

The masterclasses are aimed at pupils who demonstrate impressive flair for maths coupled with persistence in solving maths problems and puzzles. The classes extend pupils’ learning by covering topics that are not on the school curriculum.

Following the first session, which was on statistics, Luke said: “It’s always fascinated me how maths links with other subjects like computing and the sciences. All the topics we cover in maths are good in their own way, but I really find statistics interesting and we used Excel to find out the answers which is a useful skill to learn.”

Abi said: “It was really fun to meet the other students at the masterclass and work together in groups.”

Maths teacher Alison Jackson nominated Abi and Luke for the masterclasses, on the recommendation of their individual maths teachers. She said: “Abi and Luke are two of our outstanding mathematicians in the year group, and very good at problem solving. By introducing them to topics we don’t cover in school the masterclasses will whet their appetite for all the maths there is out there.”

The classes continue until 3 March, and are funded with support from the Yorkshire Branch of the Mathematical Association as well as the university’s School of Mathematics.

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