Mathematical Modelling of Patterns
Join us for a day at the UCL Department of Mathematics and the Grant Museum of Zoology

Colour photo of a patterned coral
On Wednesday 10 July join us for a day with the Department of Mathematics and the Grant Museum of Zoology at UCL. We are inviting Year 12 students to join us on a day of mathematics and biology. From Turing instabilities to cellular automata, we will explore how mathematics can describe patterns arising in nature and model the changing patterns on the skin of animals. 

Topics on the day will include:
  • Reaction-diffusion differential equations
  • Turing instabilities
  • Matrices
  • Cellular Automata
  • Probabilistic modelling

Alan Turing is known for cracking the Enigma Code in the Second World War, but it is not so well-known that he also cracked the mystery behind the patterns that animals exhibit on their skins. From the stripes of a zebra to the spots on Dalmatians, Turing came up with equations that describe the formation of those patterns that we all recognise. More recently (that is, last year!), an interdisciplinary research group found that the patterns formed on the skin scales of lizards can be modelled using the Cellular Automaton, a technique developed by Wolfram (known for WolframAlpha).

Mathematics has been applied to biology since the 19th century but advances in computer science from the 1960s onwards were a game changer for the field of mathematics known as Mathematical Biology.

The morning will be spent in the Grant Museum, followed by a student led tour of the Bloomsbury Campus. The afternoon session will take place in the Maths Department.

How to book:

This workshop is for students from the London Boroughs of Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest. Students must be studying A level Maths (predicted grade A or above) and have an interest in science. Studying A level Further Maths would be an advantage but not essential.

The workshop is free and will take place at UCL on Wednesday 10 July from 10:00-16:00. You must reserve your place in advance and students are encouraged to book individually.

To book your place and find out more, please contact Emma Bryant: e.bryant@ucl.ac.uk

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