This autumn 70 budding young mathematicians will once again have the chance to hone their maths skills by working with undergraduates and lecturers from King’s Department of Mathematics.
The King’s Factor is an after school study programme for year 12 and 13 pupils in local state schools, aimed at helping them prepare to apply to and then study maths and related subjects at university. During bi-weekly sessions King’s Factor students work together in small groups, alongside King’s lecturers and undergraduate students, to tackle complicated maths problems, such as the one below:
Let N = 2k x 4m x 8n where k, m, n are positive whole numbers. Then N will definitely be a square number whenever
- k is even:
- k + n is odd;
- k is odd but m + n is even;
- k + n is even
Since the programme was first set up in 2011 around 1,000 students have taken part.
The King’s undergraduates who teach on the programme are selected from the top performing students in each year group. Commenting on the programme, Dr Nazar Miheisi, AEP lecturer in the Department of Maths, said:
"Over the years running the King’s Factor we have found that our own undergraduate students, who support the programme, have found it helpful for their own learning, going through the process of encouraging A level students to think about problems in different ways".
Each year we survey the school students to ask for their views on the programme and how it has influenced their thinking about maths and about applying to university. They tell us they value the tutors and the innovative approach to problem solving.