Guest speaker inspires Maths Society
Tony Mann (left) with Dr Munn
On Friday 21st October the Senior Mathematics Society was delighted to welcome the first guest speaker of the year. The highly anticipated Mr Tony Mann from Greenwich University brought with him a package of concepts, enlightening us with the mathematics of optical illusions. With his recognised status as the ‘Most Innovative Teacher of the Year’ (awarded by the Times Higher Educational Supplement) we were supplied with no shortage of surprises. From simple paintings to complex multidimensional shapes, many of Mr Mann’s demonstrations left us questioning our sanity. At first glance, it was impossible to accept that a model of Einstein's face could follow you as you walked around the room. As with many of the delusional impressions we were shown, it all turned out to be a matter of perspective. Ultimately, it is the environment in which we are present that causes such paradoxes to arise.
Mr Mann explained the relevance of perspective and how it provides the all-important key to interpreting the real world around us. We learnt how the interface between dimensions is flexible; a four dimensional hypercube can be mapped into three dimensional space in the the same way that a three dimensional object can be drawn on a flat piece of paper. Of course, many of these abstract ideas have concrete practical applications. Leonardo da Vinci was among the many Renaissance painters who used methods of perspective to draw tiled floors. We at Eltham College are lucky to have experienced mathematics in such a creative way. Mr Mann has inspired us and hopefully encouraged the new members of the Sixth Form to share their interests in a similar fashion. With an exciting year ahead of us, we hope maintain a high standard in the Senior Mathematics Society in the weeks to come.
Next term Tony Mann and his colleagues at the University of Greenwich will be running a series of Mathematics Masterclasses for Sixth Formers. Click HERE for more information.