Maths: Bede's Oxbridge Hopefuls Visit Cambridge

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After we arrived in picturesque Cambridge, with ancient buildings, canals and green spaces aplenty, we were taken to a lecture theatre where a Cambridge professor explained what the admissions officers look for in your interview and STEP paper.

Next we were given a tour of Trinity College by two charming engineering students. They showed us the communal kitchens, the rooms and the bar.

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We were then taken to the Trinity College dining hall with its huge vaulted ceiling and long rows of benches where we had a delicious lunch. After that, we walked to the Babbage Lecture Theatre and on the way we went down King’s Parade, past the iconic Kings College Chapel.

Out first lecture was on Pascal’s Triangle and some graphics as to what happens when you put the numbers in it into a modulo function; this results in some fascinating patterns, such as the pattern for modulo 2 looking like a Sierpinski’s triangle.

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My favourite lecture was the second, because it was about a subject I had zero prior knowledge about but used on an almost daily basis: image manipulation.

The third lecture started with the simple question, “Why is a duck’s wake always exactly 38.94 degrees?”

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Perplexing but surprisingly relevant to the study of aerodynamics and, much like the rest of the day, rather inspiring!

After the lectures, we then spent some time exploring Cambridge, enjoying ice-creams in the sunshine and talking about what life is like for an Oxbridge student.

We had some help there, with Mr Abrams sharing some of his war stories and giving us all reasons to think that perhaps, one day, we might return as Cambridge students ourselves...

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Learn more about the Bede’s Maths department >