In what Mr Lai dubbed ‘the Inaugural Emanuel Further Mathematics Conference’ the upper sixth form were treated to a series of presentations given by members of the lower sixth.
Having given these students the half term to prepare a brief lecture on a mathematical topic of their choice, there was a real air of excitement and anticipation as Alex mesmerised us all with an extraordinarily well planned and fascinating talk on the subject of topology. Once the applause had settled down, Guy challenged the audience to identify the flaws within his false proofs, before examining some of the classic paradoxes such as the ‘liar paradox’. For a character who is naturally reserved, he was remarkably composed and managed to really captivate his audience.
Next, it was the turn of the irrepressibly enthusiastic Ollie to sprinkle his magic and dazzle us with a presentation that included the derivation of mathematics’ most beautiful gem, Euler’s Identity, before finishing with a twist that involved calculating i to the power of i, which surprisingly is a real number!
Siddiq brought an end to proceedings with an effortlessly delivered lecture that was full of gloriously original ideas, and will be remembered for the humour and consistency of the dramatic build up. One wonders if the suspense and charged atmosphere was similar back in 1993, when Andrew Wiles presented his proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem under the guise of a lecture entitled Elliptic curves.
My sincere thanks goes to Alex, Ollie, Guy, Siddiq, all of the other further mathematicians and Mr Lai who all played their part in creating what was a truly inspiring and magical hour of mathematics.
Mr Leadbetter (Teacher of Maths)