Date & time

Fri, 17 Nov 2023
10:30 - 15:00


University of Birmingham
The Great Hall
Edgbaston, B15 2TT

Bookings closed

Bookings are now closed for this past event.

About this day

Welcome to our GCSE Maths in Action day!

The goal of our GCSE Maths in Action day is to help students deepen their understanding of key mathematical concepts, improve their problem-solving skills and most importantly, generate excitement for all things maths! Our gifted speakers will guide your students through a variety of engaging and interactive activities that are designed to enhance learning and leave them wowed.

As part of our GCSE maths day, we also offer an Exam Masterclass for your students. This class is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills they need to excel in their GCSE maths exams. The class is led by experienced examiners who have a deep understanding of the exam format and the types of questions that are likely to be asked.

We look forward to working with you and helping your students achieve their full potential in maths!

Host: Sophie Maclean (Mathematician & Communicator)


“A great selection of speakers and a well-organised event!”

Maths Teacher, March 2023

Programme & speakers

Using a Chessboard for Anything Other Than Chess Ayliean MacDonald, Maths Artist and Content Creator

If you understand the basic rules to chess, I have no doubt at all that you could beat me! But chessboards can be used for so much more (she says to hide the fact she’s awful at chess). We will look at puzzles, solved, unsolved, and unsolvable, which take place on the land of the chessboard.

Ayliean MacDonald

About Ayliean MacDonald

Ayliean, brimming with nerdiness and creativity, showcases the beauty of Math through art and videos. Catch them on TikTok, Numberphile, hosting weekly Maths Circle livestreams for charity, and serving as the Community Mathematician 2023 for MathsCity Leeds.

Patterns and Predictions Colin Wright, Mathematician and Juggler

Here we talk about about puzzles, patterns, and finish with finding some unexpected patterns in juggling!

Colin Wright

About Dr Colin Wright

Colin received his maths doctorate in 1990 from Cambridge University. While at Cambridge he also learned how to fire-breathe, unicycle, juggle and ballroom dance.

Over-analysing Video Games Matthew Scroggs, University College London

Matt will apply some mathematical thinking to Pac-Man and other video games. We will work out the shortest possible route to complete a Pac-Man level, and discover the 2-, 3- and 4-dimensional shapes that video game characters live on.

Matthew Scroggs

About Matthew Scroggs

When not working Matthew writes puzzles and articles for Chalkdust Magazine, including the infamous crossnumber, and reads Martin Gardner books.

Games and Decisions Calina Durbac, PhD Student, University of Birmingham

What is Game Theory? What is its connection to decision-making? Here you will find out the answer to these questions, as we dive together into an introduction to this very interesting field of study, finishing off with some of its surprising applications.

Calina Durbac

About Calina Durbac

Calina is currently doing a PhD in Evolutionary Game Theory at the University of Birmingham. When she is not doing research or reading, she is looking into new ways of applying Maths to her daily life, including to her newly discovered passion, ballroom dancing.

Mathemusic Sophie Maclean, Mathematician and Communicator

The links between music and maths have been studied for millennia. Even Brian May has a maths degree! Both maths and music possess their own beauty, but together become something quite magical. In this exciting and interactive talk, Sophie explores the connections between the two. Bring your best singing voices!

Sophie Maclean

About Sophie Maclean

Sophie is a Maths Communicator and a member of the team behind Chalkdust Magazine. She has previously worked as a Quantitative Trader, a Software Engineer, and a Maths tutor.