Maths Inspiration

2017 07 27 maths inspiration 01On the 27 July 2017, the Year 8 Augustine class, accompanied by Miss Rajaratnam and Mr Lewis, travelled to Chatswood Concourse to be part of the Maths Inspiration lecture.

Maths Inspiration is an interactive and fun mathematics workshop for high school students. Students were given a chance to listen to interesting lectures on various Mathematical topics. The speakers were Mr Matt Parker- a researcher, mathematician and stand-up comedian, Ms Jen Rogers, a mathematician who specialises in statistics and Mr Rob Esataway, who showed the links between Mathematics and Sports.

These three speakers talked about many interesting topics such as the 'Double Domino Effect' and the ‘Sherlock Holmes investigation’.

There is one topic in particular what was very interesting. It was on Correlation verses Causation. There is a big difference between correlation and causation. Correlation is two things seemingly relating or influencing each other, while causation is where one variable actually does influence and change the other.

It was said that if you ate bacon in the United Kingdom, then you would be more likely to get pancreatic cancer. This was a correlation, but people turned it into a causation. They said that bacon caused pancreatic cancer, when actually they just randomly happened to correlate. This was probably because the people who were eating the most bacon were already unhealthy to begin with, as bacon isn't the most healthy food choice, so already unhealthy people would be more likely to eat it, and healthy people probably wouldn't eat it as often. They found out that only one in eighty people who ate lots of bacon had pancreatic cancer.

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There was also a correlation between ice cream and people drowning. This is not a causation, meaning if you ate more ice cream you were more likely to drown. This was a correlation that was probably caused by the seasons of year. In summer, you would be more likely to eat ice cream and more likely to swim in the pool or go to the beach, so both things would become more common. As the year goes by and it gets colder, there would be less people doing such activities, making it seem as if one variable is caused by the other variable, but actually they are both caused by another - the seasons of year.

We learnt a lot from the Maths Inspiration talks and found Mathematics to be fun, meaningful and enriching!

Jessica Tan and Bethany Druery
Year 8 students