Since the beginning of Autumn session 2019, our new first-year cohort of budding mathematicians have been learning what it means to research mathematics. Facilitated and mentored by the teaching team (Glen Wheeler, Maureen Edwards, Pavel Krivitsky, Thalia Wilson, Jono Taylor and Laura Cartwright) as well as senior student mentors and the greater mathematics community, they have undergone a learning journey unique to UOW. MATH100 guides every student through the research and composition of their own individual research project as well as a broader team project. This ambitious goal is achieved through extensive scaffolding, facilitation, and support networks. Students are challenged throughout the semester in a variety of contexts and complete rapid training in tools required for mathematical research. Students reflect and document their journey throughout.
In Week 13 we held our showcase event. Students gathered in the SMART Foyer with their posters, individual research reports, and team rationales (living blueprints for each team). Posters were pinned up and teams gathered around their stations. The event incorporated active interviews, peer grading and feedback, and formal assessment. We welcomed a number of guests, including academics from mathematics, the broader faculty, and across the university. There was significant involvement of senior students in support and assessment. Everyone was invited to participate in the voting and activities of the event.
The 2019 cohort consists of seventeen teams studying topics ranging from making the perfect shot in basketball, golf, billiards, winning at darts, the incredible power of lightning, and cryptography. The number of hours every student invested into their work is staggering and feedback from the event praised the impressive depth and breadth of knowledge on display by the students. The event celebrated these amazing achievements of our students. The entire teaching team were blown away by the overall mathematical sophistication and professionalism of the cohort.
At the end of the event we tallied up the votes and declared the following winners:
Best Aesthetics: “Tournament Poker: Texas Hold’Em” by Bandersnatch (Ella Mathews O’Brien)
Best Narrative: “The Quickest Way to Win a Game of 301 in Darts” by TBD (Isiah Darcy, Isaac Farrell and Patrick Gillen)
Excellent Achievement (2nd and 3rd): “Determining the Time of Death” by the Death Twins (Abby Shearim and Lucinda Turner) and “Making a Shot in Basketball” by the Trinomial Trio (Adam Koch, Tristan Lee and Harry Lye)
Outstanding Achievement (1st): “Geodesy” by Mathopoly (Lauren Allen, Claire Dunning, Billal Hussein and Matthew Smylie)