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18 November 2016

Students encourage budding mathematicians

On Wednesday 19th October the Nonsuch High School for girls in Cheams, near Sutton, hosted a university taster event where several prestigious UK universities were invited to showcase some of their best courses. King’s College London was invited to promote the Faculty of Natural & Mathematical Sciences, and in particular the Departments of Mathematics and Physics.

Equations and graphs on a chalkboard
Equations on a chalkboard

Francesca Tripaldi and Niccolo' Salvatori, two final year PhD students in Pure Maths, from the Department of Mathematics volunteered as ambassadors. In front of a crowded classroom, they reported their own experience as maths students and Graduate Teaching Scholars at King’s during two separate sessions of 80 minutes each, speaking to a total of 60 students of Nonsuch High.

The audience included Year 11 and Year 12 girls who listened intently to Niccolo’s presentation about the Department of Mathematics, the modules that are on offer and the many great features of King’s. The students asked questions about the course content and the opportunities available for a graduate in mathematics. The audience were very interested in Francesca’s description of her research in geometry and the activities and events hosted by WiSTEM, a student society focused on women in STEM at King’s.

As one can guess, the importance that King’s puts on encouraging women to study and work in the sciences was highly appreciated by both groups attending these presentations. Moreover, the friendly attitude of the speakers encouraged the students to ask a large number of question that showed a clear intention from many of the girls to go on to study a scientific subject, with King’s as a first choice. In particular, Francesca gave them valuable advice on what kind of A-level they should take in order to get an offer at King’s, while they challenged Niccolo’ with questions about being an early stage researcher in mathematics and being a mathematician in general.

The overall atmosphere was very positive and friendly and everyone left the room, students and speakers alike, with a visible smile on their faces. In fact, the chance to speak to a young and receptive audience about their own research, and not only about the institution in general, gave the speakers a lot of positive energy. This was noticed by the Nonsuch High girls and definitely made a big the difference for them.

By Francesca Tripaldi and Niccolo' Salvatori