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Conference Programme

Please note - the programme is provisional and subject to change. For details of venues, visit the venue information page.

Arrival in the evening. Informal gathering for food and drinks in Travelodge Cambridge Central hotel bar.

Introductory session and icebreaker activity
Maths on YouTube - panel session, with speakers Brady Haran (Numberphile), Anand Jagatia (Royal Institution) and Jen (Primrose Kitten)
Exemplar maths activity workshops* - parallel sessions (see below)
Lunch (buffet provided) - including a drop-in session for new/early career maths communicators
Guided development workshop - creating or adapting a resource or activity, with science communicator Hana Ayoob, supported by Sam Durbin & Ben Sparks
Demo showcase - showcasing mathematical stage demonstrations, with time for Q&A afterwards
Depart for evening activities
Conference dinner (Nines Global Buffet) and pub (The Wine Bar in CUC)
Lightning talks* showcasing maths projects and activities
Is Your Engagement Inclusive? with Sarah Cosgriff
Lunch (buffet provided) - including a meeting to discuss plans for the new Maths Week England, and how you can get involved; also, free headshot photo sessions (subject to availability)
Discussion Sessions (see below)
Writing about maths - panel session, with speakers Katie Steckles (The Aperiodical / HLF via Spektrum SciLogs), Sarah Dick (Royal Institution) and Simon Singh (joining by video link)
Keynote - "Astonishing Audiences", with Magician Neil Kelso
Neil Kelso is one of the UK's Ten Best Cabaret Stars according to Bored Panda, and uses magic, music, humour, feats of mental and digital dexterity to engage audiences and to convey important messages. Neil performs in and hosts cabarets, theatre shows and spiegeltents around the world. In this keynote, Neil will be sharing live demonstrations and insights into his methods for engaging audiences, cultivating curiosity and wonder, and creating long-lasting memories.
Depart for evening events - smaller coordinated social events (sign up during the day) followed by drinks (Cambridge Blue)
Morning networking activities - including tour of historical mathematical sights in Cambridge, maths puzzle boat trip ("Treasure Punt") with puzzles by Chalkdust team, board games, museum visits and craft session
Lunch all together at YHA and conference close

The sessions will be introduced and compered by Stand-up Mathematician Matt Parker.

If you have any questions about programme content or timings, please contact the Organising Committee.

Discussion Sessions

The following topics will form this year's discussion programme (Friday 30th August, 2-3.30pm).

  • 2pm-2.45pm MR4 Social Media - in today's social media world, how can maths communicators make use of online platforms to promote their activities and content, make networks and find out what's going on? (Guest chair: Royal Institution multimedia producer Sarah Dick)
  • 2pm-2.45pm MR5 Giving and getting feedback - the one thing you can't be doing when presenting a show or workshop is watching yourself. How can we support each other with feedback, and improve our output? (Guest chair: communications trainer Duncan Yellowlees)
  • 2.45pm-3.30pm MR4 Apps, tech and e-learning - there are many ways technology can be used to enhance the learning experience, especially in a subject like maths. What's out there, and how can we make best use of the technologies? (Guest chair: MEI/Sumaze's Richard Lissaman)
  • 2.45pm-3.05pm MR5 How do we do this job? - many people now work in maths communication full time, or as a major part of their job. What's involved, and how do we juggle the problems of a freelance (and/or non-freelance) lifestyle, tackle all the different forms of communication in maths and come out the other side in one piece? (Guest chair: full-time multi-tasker Katie Steckles)
  • 3.10pm-3.30pm MR5 Communicating maths within institutions - working in maths communication can be made easier, or more difficult, with the support of a large institution or body. What's involved doing maths communication as part of a university, learned body or big company, and what are the challenges? (Guest chair: University of Leeds senior lecturer Kevin Houston)

Attendee Contributed Sessions

Sessions marked with * above will include attendee-contributed content, and will be compiled from submissions from conference attendees.

Lightning Talks session

5-minute talks showcasing maths outreach projects and activities. Find out what kind of things people have been doing, and who to talk to if you'd like to get involved.

Exemplar maths activity workshops

Showcasing a selection of maths workshops, ranging from hands-on activities to interactive classroom sessions. We'll be running five sessions in parallel for attendees to watch and give feedback on. Our workshop sessions will be:

NRICH Maths Fest (Andrew Sharpe)

A selection of low-entry, high-ceiling activities suitable for KS2 up to A-level, including favourites from the past 20 years of NRICH plus a selection of new activities, all free to reproduce and use.

Showcasing statistics within the classroom (Simon White)

Showcasing hands-on activities developed by the Royal Statistical Society’s Education and Statistical Literacy Committee as a classroom STEM enrichment workshop, which embed learning important statistical concepts within an approachable and interesting context.

Does it have to be hard core? (Cat Van Saarloos)

"How many tennis balls fit in a Boeing 747?" "How much of your student loan will you really have to pay back?" "What's the lifetime cost of your daily vice?" A quirky and fun introduction to the world of Core Maths.

Have fun with Maths (Francesca Iezzi)

A workshop aimed at higher primary and lower secondary school pupils, focusing on a strategy game for two players called the "Shannon-Switching game", which is played on a finite graph. The workshop will show the creative and fun side of mathematics, and include ideas from game theory and graph theory.

The mystery of statistics - with dragons (Nicola Petty)

How can asking a bunch of people inform us about what the whole country thinks? Why is it okay to analyse data on a small number of animals and draw conclusions about the whole species? In this interactive workshop we will answer these questions... using dragons!

Other Activities

In addition to the main conference programme, we have several other auxiliary activities taking place in and around the event.

Lunchtime meetings

On Thursday lunchtime, we'll designate a space for a meeting of new maths communicators - people new to the field who would like to meet and get advice from more experienced communicators (of whom we'll invite a few to join you).

On Friday lunchtime, we'll provide space for a gathering of people who run Maths Weeks in the UK/Ireland - including the new Maths Week England, so people can find out what it is and how they can get involved, Maths Week Ireland and Maths Week Scotland.

Mathematical Marketplace

We're inviting mathematical stalls to come and sell things on a few tables during our lunch breaks. The marketplace will include a stall from Maths Gear with some nerdy maths things, and a book table with a selection of titles. If you're coming to the event and have any maths-related bits and bobs to sell, or you'd like to add your book to our book stall, please contact the organisers.

Headshot photos

As with last year's event, we'll have the option for a limited number of people to get their photograph taken for them to use in self-promotion and publicity. This will take place during lunch on Friday, somewhere in or near the INI building. Priority will be given to people who didn't get one last time!

Swap Table

Take the opportunity to clear out some of your old, unwanted maths outreach kit that still has life in it yet - maths toys, props, resources, games and puzzles that you just don't need any more. We'll supply the table, you fill it with things you don't need and take away whatever you want (remembering to share and play nicely). Anything not taken away at the end of the weekend will be donated to a charity shop.