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Sixth Form Academic Lectures Tackle Comets and Maths

25th November 14

The 2014-15 Academic Lecture Series has introduced Sixth Formers to leading experts from varying fields. Recent talks have been on scientific and mathematical themes.

Dr Carolin Crawford visited from the Cambridge Institute of Astronomy on Nov 5th for timely lecture on The Rosetta Mission, a current ESA scientific research project unlocking the mysteries of comets. Students were well versed in all things comet related when The Rosetta Mission hit the news the following week, with the Philae lander settling down on the surface of comet P67, an important scientific accomplishment but one that was not without difficulties.

KAS was privileged to have Dr Carolin explain the mission in what was one of our most engaging and well illustrated talks yet.

This week, the Sixth Form welcomed Simon Singh, for a talk on “The Simpsons and their Mathematical Secrets.” Before turning to Maths however, Singh played “Stairway to Heaven” backwards to see how many words students could pick up. They heard a few messages the first time around, but a second listen revealed even more words, demonstrating how quickly the brain both picks up patterns and can also fool you.

From there, it was onto The Simpsons, which contain a remarkable number of references to the worlds great mathematical problems and famous mathematicians. It too was one of the students’ favourite lectures to date. Singh also treated Lower School students to a talk and demo with a real Enigma machine. another of his specialist areas.

Thanks again to all of our Academic Lecturers this term, and to our Sixth Form students for being such a wonderful audience.

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