Celebrating Women in Mathematics at the Royal Institution

The Royal Institution hosted a special celebration of women in mathematics on 26 February 2015, organised in collaboration with the Further Mathematics Support Programme at UCL

The Royal Institution celebration event was attended by 270 Year 10 students (female and male) from 27 schools across London and the South East. The excitement in the Faraday lecture theatre was palpable on this inspiring day where cutting-edge female mathematicians shared their passion for mathematics and explored how mathematics can be used in the real world.

Dr Helen Wilson, deputy head of the Department of Mathematics at UCL, opened the day with the maths behind the chocolate fountain and its links to bullet-proof vests. Naomi Ball then discussed how operational research is used at British Airways to choose destinations, sell tickets and make other essential business decisions.

After a Q&A with some mathematics undergraduates, a maths quiz and some theatre, Dr Hannah Fry from UCL took us on a tour of number patterns and revealed how maths can be used to track down serial killers! Our mystery guest speaker Rachel Riley from Countdown closed the day with an exciting Q&A session and some sound advice.

It was a very enjoyable event and we all left the Royal Institution elated. One of the students who attended the day wrote a wonderful piece in the local Guardian about how the event persuaded her to consider a career in mathematics.

Dr Helen Wilson and her chocolate fountain.