News Magic Numbers! 13.03.2023

Collyer’s mathematics department welcomed back Dr Nicos Georgiou, from the University of Sussex, to present an enrichment talk on the “Mathematics of Magic”.

Head of Maths, Joel Hofmann, who organised the event, explained: “Dr Georgiou presented a thoroughly interesting and entertaining talk, in which students could explore both fascinating tricks and the underpinning mathematical principles. The group found the session engaging and enjoyed seeing some practical, and impractical, applications of the mathematics they are currently learning, or might go on to study in future.”

Dr Georgiou demonstrated various magic tricks, based on mathematical principles including probability and Markov chains. He also discussed how mathematics and probability can be used to detect fraud and cheating.

Maths teacher Peter Mattock said: “What a fantastic and inspiring talk from Dr Georgiou, it really brought the passion of the subject to life for our students as well as giving them some ideas of areas of mathematics they could study further after college. The explanations were clear and understandable, and students especially enjoyed learning some tricks with a pack of cards they could go off to show their friends and family, as well as the maths behind why it works.”

Hannah Page, Director of Faculty for Science said: “What an entrancing session! Huge thanks to Joel, the maths department, and Dr Nicos Georgiou for making this educational opportunity possible. Nicos and the team at the University of Sussex are incredibly supportive of Collyer’s.”


Dr Rob Hussey, Vice Principal (Curriculum) added: “The group really engaged with Dr Georgiou’s fascinating and inspiring talk. Teachers and students alike found it spellbinding!”