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Monday, 01 June 2015
A project coordinated by Bolton School Girls’ Division Mathematics teacher, Miss Lauren Reynolds, has proved a big hit with local Year 9 girls. Pupils from Smithills, Thornleigh, Rivington and Blackrod and Essa Academy have completed a 5 week course at Bolton School called Spread your Wings Mathematics, which has been run in association with the Shine Trust UK. Funding from the trust has enabled girls to be inspired by a strand of Mathematics called Decision Mathematics.
The girls learned how to apply Bin Packing algorithms, Minimum Spanning Trees and Shortest Path algorithms to a variety of real world situations. The girls picked up the skills with ease and were able to apply them to contexts ranging from Disk storage, cutting of materials, fibre optic cables right through to finding the best air fares for an optimal travel route.
Commenting on the successful project, Miss Reynolds, said: “The girls thoroughly enjoyed the programme and are now more determined than ever to achieve good GCSE grades in Mathematics as they can now see its importance in the world of work and Business. A particular highlight was receiving a letter back from the Head of Mathematics at the University of York praising the girls’ efforts in using Kruskal's algorithm to connect the York Colleges with fibre optic cable at the minimum possible cost.
It was a joy to work with the girls and to see them enjoying using mathematics to model real life problems to find the optimal solution given real constraints. I hope that one day they are able to draw on the knowledge gained on this programme to shine themselves during a business meeting in the future.”
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