News Maths Bubble 30.03.2023

Collyer’s welcomed back Dr Filippo Cagnetti, a Reader in Mathematics and director of Admissions and recruitment for the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences at the University of Sussex. Dr Cagnetti gave a talk and practical demonstration to Collyer’s mathematics students about mathematical analysis and how this can be used to solve problems involving optimising a volume for a given surface area.

Head of Mathematics Joel Hofmann explained: “Essentially our students learnt why bubbles are round! This was then extended to consider what would happen when certain constraints are imposed, such as creating a bubble in a hollow cube or tetrahedron.”

The students thoroughly enjoyed seeing the mathematics explained and a practical demonstration illustrating the different shapes the bubbles make under those conditions.

Maths Teacher Peter Mattock said “It’s always interesting for our students to see the other ways mathematics can be applied, especially when explained so clearly by such an enthusiastic and charismatic speaker. We all thoroughly enjoyed the uplifting talk.”

Joel Hofmann added: “A most enjoyable and informative session from Dr Cagnetti. Many of our students go on to study a course at university with a large mathematical component, so it was useful for them to explore the concept of mathematical analysis at this stage, especially in such a fun and engaging way.

“Our group were surprised and delighted at the different shapes the bubbles made in 3D, but could easily see the link with the 2D problems that Dr Cagnetti explained to them.”

Hannah Page, Director of Faculty for Science said: “This was a fascinating learning opportunity, enjoyed by students and teachers alike. Enormous thanks to Dr Cagnetti and all at the University of Sussex for their ongoing, incredible support.”