The Theory of Maths

The day before exams started, a small group of senior students were treated to a lecture by UK mathematician, Rob Eastaway. Eastaway has a varied maths background using his statistical knowledge to work with big business, sports and education. The topic of this lecture was ‘Decision Maths’ where he looked at the maths involved in decision-meking, from sports to Mars orbiters and everything in between. He showed us how he developed a ranking system for the world cricket stage and how mathematical decisions could help you win at game shows. It was thoroughly enjoyable with lots of interaction and opportunities for students to win money, chocolate and the coveted truncatable prime pencil which Mrs Rabulall is surfing the internet to try to find as we speak. It was a great opportunity to see how maths relates to real-world scenarios, the pit-falls and tips of applying our maths knowledge.

Here’s what a couple of the seniors had to say about their experience:

Jeonghyeok Park, Matthew Walters, Ryan O’Sullivan, Tonii Ruiterman and Callum Travers

Quotes from the students

Park:

It was a beneficial time to have a think about mathematical models around us. There were lots of interesting topics that could be explained by statistics which will help for my future decisions.

Callum:

The most interesting part was the $50 trust game where a prize of $50 was offered to whoever wrote the largest numbers out of 10 people. The prize of $50 went to the largest number written down and was divided amongst the winners. It was interesting to learn about the whole statistics that went into predictions.

Ryan:

I learned a lot about stats and I also found the maths behind ranking systems very interesting. The best part of the lecture was the mathematical applications of game theory and it showed how human mind-set has such a large effect on outcomes and decisions.

Matthew:

The lecture offered an insightful view into how maths is incorporated into our everyday life and the decisions we make. It was interesting to see how personalities and human characteristics can affect our decisions and its probability.

Tonii:

It was really interesting with the practical demonstrations of statistics. The games were entertaining and the talk was a great supplement to the maths we learn in class.

Auckland Cup Sailing Regionals

Day 1

We had beautiful weather for the first day of the regatta – unfortunately the wind didn’t follow suit! Racing started just after 10:00am and we watched the first few, blown away by the skills exhibited by the teams! Soon enough the 420s headed our way and we jumped in, starting off our leg of racing. We had some stellar starts, even taking out a win! It was fascinating for us watching the play on the water and hearing the calls being made within the team on and off the water. A few red protest flags were flown in our direction, showing the level of competition.

We came off the boats and leapt into the flat water – as did many others. Swimming between the boats, we lapped up the sunshine before our final race and retiring back to shore. Team debrief was held at Movenpick – a bit of a change for us gumboot-wearing folk!

Day 2

Quite a different story weather-wise – it was cloudy and threatening, with a strong breeze running through when we arrived. Aware of the declining situation in the clouds, racing started early, getting on the water close to 9:00am. Our race set came around and we tentatively stepped into the bucking boats between waves –  something we don’t get in our safe-haven at Waiuku! The first race was completed well, the second race was postponed – giving our team the chance to practice some capsizes! We had a good blatt whilst waiting for the race, screaming around the bigger boats out towards Rangitoto. We managed to get in two more races before it all turned to custard, one of our boats colliding with a rib, whilst another pulled off a tricky capsize on the fringe of the course. Everyone was in hysterics, and the shivering Waiuku team, after basking in their faux pas, headed into shore as our round robin was called off.

It was a great regatta, teaching us a lot and giving us a greater idea of team sailing. We are now practicing hard in the build-up for nationals – so watch this space!

-Written by Zoe Allan