Dart Maths — Times Letter 16–05
Congratulations to Mr Stuart from Kent, Maths teacher, for surviving forty years of A Level Maths. I was a little disappointed that he emphasised that dart boards & bar waiting helped him “develop numeracy skills that no qualification in Maths would ever equal”. I do however recall my A Level Maths as being one continuous slog of problem solving, that is not to deny that useful skill.
What I don’t remember is appreciating other aspects of mathematics, which I have since observed. Last month, John Horton Conway’s obituary illustrated the fun in Maths. Earlier this century there was the obituary of Godfrey Hounsfield, a Nottingham lad, who applied the line integral problem to invent the computerised tomography (CT) X-ray scanner, one of the 20th century’s most important advances. Together with Allan Cormack they exploited the properties of what is known as the Radon Transform discovered in 1917. And in the previous century we had a lady mathematical Nottinghamian, Ada Lovelace.
All good people whose “colour” could be used to brighten the dour A level syllabus.