Hundreds of visitors of all ages joined volunteer staff and students from the Faculty of Mathematics at the Cambridge Science Festival Maths Public Open Day on Saturday 25 March 2017.
Over 70 staff and student volunteers shared the excitement of maths through hands-on activities, games and demonstrations, aimed at all ages. The event, which is co-ordinated on behalf of the Faculty by the MMP, attracted around 400 visitors, mostly families with children, with most staying for several hours to explore everything on offer.
As the largest public engagement event of the Faculty's year, the event included a huge range of imaginative activities introducing some of the areas on which Cambridge mathematicians work. Visitors discovered more about the mathematics of disease dynamics and image processing through Lego epidemics and the face-fusion photobooth, learned more about cosmology by creating balloon inflating universes, and explored the beauty of number theory through noticing number patterns and playing the factors and multiples game (you can have a go at a similar game yourself on our Wild Maths site).
The Science Festival Maths Public Open Day also offered a rare and exciting opportunity to explore inside the fluids dynamics laboratory hidden beneath the lawn of the Centre for Mathematical Sciences, one of the most beautiful modern buildings in Cambridge. Hands-on - and in some cases very splashy - fluids activities and demonstrations in the lab (from water bombs and human plumes to alien custard!) introduced some of the diverse areas on which Cambridge applied mathematicians work. For a lucky few visitors, there was also an incredibly rare chance to tour the COSMOS supercomputer, supporting research in cosmology, astrophysics and particle physics.
The event was hugely successful, with enormously positive feedback from both visitors and volunteers. Huge thanks go to all involved - roll on the Cambridge Science Festival 2018!
You can read more about the 2017 Cambridge Science Festival event in this feature article on the Cambridge Mathematics Faculty website.