Mathematics Masterclass

Perhaps the greatest mathematician of all time, Carl Friedrich Gauss, believed that mathematics was the queen of all sciences, and number theory the queen of mathematics. And there is probably no more absorbing pursuit in all of number theory than the study of prime numbers.

Prime numbers are the atoms of arithmetic, the building blocks of mathematics. Mastering these building blocks offers the mathematician the hope of discovering new ways of charting a course through the vast complexities of the mathematical world. Yet despite their apparent simplicity, prime numbers remain the most mysterious objects studied by mathematicians. Despite over two thousand years of endeavour, prime numbers have defied all attempts to fit them into a straightforward pattern.

The Mathematics Masterclass provides an exciting introduction to number theory and the mysterious properties of prime numbers. Under the expert guidance of our tutors, students will be taken on a challenging mathematical journey involving some of the greatest mathematical problems of the past 500 years. As part of this masterclass, students will study a variety of topics including modular arithmetic, the prime number theorem, the Riemann hypothesis and the Goldbach conjecture.

Classes containing between 14 – 16 students will combine lectures with problem questions and exercises, creating a comfortable environment for students to share ideas amongst their peers and to progress from their existing knowledge toward more challenging material.

This course is ideal for students who may be considering mathematics or a related discipline at university, but it will also be of interest to those who have a passion for problem solving and who enjoy the abstract beauty of mathematical ideas.

‘Why are numbers beautiful? It’s like asking why is Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony beautiful. If you don’t see why, someone can’t tell you. I know numbers are beautiful. If they aren’t beautiful, nothing is.’ 

Paul Erdos

‘Let us grant that the pursuit of mathematics is a divine madness of the human spirit, a refuge from the goading urgency of contingent happenings.’ 

Alfred Whitehead

‘The mathematician’s patterns, like the painter’s or the poet’s must be beautiful; the ideas, like the colours or the words must fit together in a harmonious way. Beauty is the first test: there is no permanent place in this world for ugly mathematics.’

Godfrey Hardy

Practical Details

The Mathematics Masterclass is open to students aged 15 – 18, and will take place on Saturday 24th February.

The venue for this course is the University of London, Bloomsbury Campus, Central London – you can see more venue and travel details here.

The cost of the one-day Mathematics Masterclass is £95 per student.

Partial fees bursaries are available for students who would otherwise face financial barriers to attending the course – please see here for details.

To book a place or places at the Mathematics Masterclass, or if you have any further questions, simply call on 0845 519 4827, email info@debatechamber.com, or book online.