Where might maths take you?

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Jackie Bell

Alumni from the University’s Department of Mathematical Sciences took part in a series of events for year 11 students across the city region in April, aimed at encouraging underrepresented groups to study mathematics beyond their GCSEs.

Six events took place over the Easter holidays at Lord Derby Academy Cowley International School, Formby High School, Broadgreen International School, Wade Deacon School and Upton Hall School. More than 150 GCSE students gave up a day of their Easter holidays to attend the events, which showcased how maths can be fun with students tackling exciting problem-solving scenarios.

The events all received great feedback, with one student commenting: “The day opened my eyes to how widespread maths can be and how many opportunities there are. It was so interesting to hear about how many places maths could take me.”

As part of the events, the University of Liverpool invited maths alumni to give talks to students on how they have used their maths degrees to help shape their careers. Dr Jackie Bell (BSc Hons Mathematics 2010, MA Mathematical Sciences 2011, PhD 2016) delivered presentations at three of the events to share her career story, including how she was inspired to take part in a BBC Documentary, Astronauts: Do You Have What it Takes? The programme followed 12 astronaut hopefuls, who were put through their paces in a series of gruelling and terrifying tasks, matching those that real-life astronauts go through during their intense training. To find out more about Jackie’s journey, listen to her University of Liverpool podcast episode here.

Jackie Bell talk

As well as inspiring the future generation of maths students, the talks were also aimed at helping to raise awareness of the new University of Liverpool Mathematics College, which will open in 2020.

Commenting on the events Professor Kurt Langfeld, Head of Department for Mathematical Sciences at the University of Liverpool said: We are delighted to be sponsoring this and are very pleased with how well the first outreach event was received. It was the first step of many to come to inspire young students of the Liverpool City region, to raise the attainment in Mathematics in the region and to ultimately transform young lives with a career in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

If you are a maths graduate and would be interested in sharing your career story to help inspire the next generation of maths graduates, we’d love to hear from you. You can contact the Alumni Relations team for further information via: alumni@liverpool.ac.uk