NRICH Programme Director (Fixed Term)

NRICH Programme Director (Fixed Term)

Salary: £51,702-£54,841 p.a.

Closing date: 26 March 2015

The Faculty of Education at the University of Cambridge is seeking to appoint a full-time Director of the very high-profile NRICH mathematics project (http://nrich.maths.org),

NRICH is a successful and vibrant project, supporting teachers and students nationally and internationally. NRICH offers rich online mathematical resources for teachers and learners from Early Years to Key Stage 5, and support and professional development for teachers. The NRICH website currently attracts more than 6 million visits and around 30 million pageviews per year and the NRICH team also works with thousands of teachers and pupils each year through face-to-face activities.

The Director is responsible for the strategic and day-to-day management of the project and leading the exceptional NRICH team. Responsibilities include day-to-day project management and administration; project planning and development; and overseeing and contributing to the development of content for the NRICH website and the delivery of professional development for teachers. The NRICH Director is also responsible for developing and maintaining links with key organisations and the wider educational community, and plays a key role in helping the project contribute to the national mathematics education agenda.

The successful candidate will share NRICH’s vision of mathematics as a rich, creative subject. They will have a first degree in mathematics or a closely related subject; a Masters or doctoral qualification in mathematics, mathematics education or a closely related subject would be an advantage; a teaching qualification and substantial mathematics teaching experience, together with a thorough knowledge of the UK school system, including educational administration and assessment procedures; considerable prior experience of creating mathematics enrichment resources and mathematics teaching and learning materials; considerable prior experience in the development and delivery of professional development for teachers; excellent leadership and teamwork skills; excellent communication and interpersonal skills; and a demonstrable interest in the use of the internet and new technologies in education.

NRICH is part of the Millennium Mathematics Project (maths.org), involving staff employed by both the Faculty of Education and the Faculty of Mathematics. The post is held within the Faculty of Education but physically based in the Faculty of Mathematics in central Cambridge. An important part of the role involves building strong working relationships within the University and externally.

Some travel to schools, conferences and other venues nationally and internationally will be required.

For full information please download the further particulars for the post at http://www.jobs.cam.ac.uk/job/6102

How to apply:

Applications must be submitted online. To apply online for this vacancy and to download the further particulars for the role, please visit http://www.jobs.cam.ac.uk/job/6102

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 3 years in the first instance.

Once an offer of employment has been accepted, the successful candidate will be required to undergo an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check.

Please quote reference JR05278 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

Retain Alan Turing’s Notebook for the Nation

E-petition launched by Professor S. Barry Cooper:

On January 19, 2015, the FT reported that “A notebook belonging to the man known as the father of the computing age is expected to fetch at least $1m at auction. Alan Turing’s notebook is thought to date from 1942, when the Briton was leading the cryptanalysts at Bletchley Park in the battle to break the German Enigma codes, the period of his life covered in the Oscar-nominated film ‘The Imitation Game’. The notebook containing 56 pages of handwritten notes was among papers that Turing left to his friend and fellow mathematician Robin Gandy. Cassandra Hatton, senior specialist at Bonhams, called the notebook, ‘probably the most extensive manuscript that exists in Turing’s hand. To be able to look in and see his thought processes is extremely important.”
We call on the Government to liaise with the Science Museum and other major British institutions, to assist in buying this important item, and protecting it for viewing by the British people and international visitors.

If you are a UK citizen, sign the petition.

Barry Cooper’s article in Guardian Northerner.

The Alan Turing Year website

 

David Mumford on Grothendieck and magazine “Nature”

Can one explain schemes to biologists

December 14, 2014

John Tate and I were asked by Nature magazine to write an obituary for Alexander Grothendieck. Now he is a hero of mine, the person that I met most deserving of the adjective “genius”. I got to know him when he visited Harvard and John, Shurik (as he was known) and I ran a seminar on “Existence theorems”. His devotion to math, his disdain for formality and convention, his openness and what John and others call his naiveté struck a chord with me.

So John and I agreed and wrote the obituary below. Since the readership of Nature were more or less entirely made up of non-mathematicians, it seemed as though our challenge was to try to make some key parts of Grothendieck’s work accessible to such an audience. Obviously the very definition of a scheme is central to nearly all his work, and we also wanted to say something genuine about categories and cohomology. Here’s what we came up with:

Continue reading

Andreas Schleicher: Seven big myths about top-performing school systems

A paper by Andreas Schleicher, , at the BBC website. The list of “seven big myths”:

  1. Disadvantaged pupils are doomed to do badly in school
  2. Immigrants lower results
  3. It’s all about money
  4. Smaller class sizes raise standards
  5. Comprehensive systems for fairness, academic selection for higher results
  6. The digital world needs new subjects and a wider curriculum
  7. Success is about being born talented

In my [AB] humble opinion,  this appears to be the case when the negations of myths are myths, too (with a possible exception of no. 7). School systems cannot, and should not, be compared without first having a close look at socio-economic, cultural, and political environments of their home countries.

University Mathematics in Perspective

University Mathematics in Perspective

29th Residential Course for Sixth Form Students
Wednesday 24 – Friday 26 June 2015
University of Leeds, Devonshire Hall

Click here for more details.

Sample lectures include:

“Polyhedra” – John Truss
“Mathematics and Card Cheating” – Kevin Houston
“Funny Fluids and Soft Stuff” – Daniel Read
“The Taccoma BridgeOliver Harlen
SupernovaeSam Falle

Maria Droujkova: Multiplication Explorers Online Course

Multiplication Explorers Online Course

What’s so special about multiplication? To begin with, it is universal and therefore unavoidable. We all had to learn it. And our children will have to learn it too, in some shape or form. Here’s something else – the way you will help your children learn multiplication will mirror the way you learned it yourself, unless you take steps to change that. So how did you learn?

Did you spend hours repeating “the facts” with chants, flashcards, and seemingly endless drills? A lot of things have changed since we were children. There must be more effective ways of mastering multiplication! And there must be ways to make it relevant to our lives!

Let’s dig deeper. Do you remember how you felt studying the multiplication tables? For so many people we meet, the dislike and fear of math can be traced all the way back to their struggles to understand (and not just memorize) multiplication. Can we change this pattern so our children, approaching multiplication, feel not fear but curiosity, not anxiety but joy, not alienation but affinity? Can multiplication be more about smart play, rich mathematical thinking and usefulness everywhere in life?

This is what our Multiplication Explorers course is all about. It explores holistic approach to learning multiplication. Memorization based on smart number patterns is a part of it. The course also includes bridges between multiplication and natural world, as well as links to many virtual and imaginary worlds in books, music, technology, art, and games.

We invite you to boldly go beyond the familiar representations of multiplication such as skip counting and repeated addition, to explore many more meaningful, beautiful, and fun models. This course is a launch pad to adventures across the universe of multiplication.

Register Button

Ivor Grattan-Guinness obituary

From The Guardian, by Tony Crilly

Energetic historian of mathematics and logic

When Ivor Grattan-Guinness, who has died aged 73 of heart failure, became interested in the history of mathematics in the 1960s, it was an area of study widely considered to be irrelevant to mathematics proper, or something that older mathematicians did on retirement. As an undergraduate at Oxford, he found that mathematics was presented drily, with no inkling of the original motivations behind its development. So Ivor set himself the task of asking “What happened in the past?” – as opposed, he said, to taking the heritage viewpoint of asking “How did we get here?”

Read in full.

Ivor Owen Grattan-Guinness, historian of mathematics and logic, born 23 June 1941; died 12 December 2014

MBE to a maths clubs volunteer

From BBC:

A man who runs free maths classes for primary age children has been recognised in the New Year Honours list with an MBE.

Gbolahan Bright has been running the Bright Academy maths clubs for primary age children in London and Essex for the past 20 years.

“I have gained a lot from this society. I have been blessed and it would have been ungrateful of me if I did not give back,” he said.

Of the 500 or so children who have taken the classes, about 50 gained their GCSE while still at primary school.

Read more.

Retraining 15,000 teachers?

Philip Nye writes in a paper  Cameron needs to rethink maths and science plan (12 Dec 2014) that

Under No 10’s plan, 15,000 teachers of other subjects will also retrain as maths or physics teachers, as part of a “major push” to boost maths, science and technology skills.

However, Professor Alan Smithers, director of the Centre for Education and Employment Research at the University of Buckingham says: “It’s really easy to say ‘well, physics is science, so therefore there’ll be people teaching biology, or who have done medicine or engineering [degrees] that we can retrain as physics teachers’. But biology is really as different from physics as, say, history is.”

Perhaps the same skepticism can be applied to mathematics.

Mathematics Resilience – making it happen

The Shard Symposium

16th January 2015 10am – 4pm

Evidence is accruing that Mathematical Resilience is fundamental to developing a numerate, empower society. You are cordially invited to attend a symposium designed to explore the next steps to be taken in enabling learners to become Mathematically Resilient.

The symposium is convened to bring together practitioners, funders and researchers to discuss what is happening in enabling learners to develop Mathematical Resilience. It is a precursor to an international conference that will be held jointly by University of Warwick and Open University in November 2015.

The symposium will be held at the Warwick University Business School Offices in The Shard, 32 London Bridge Street, London, SE1 9SG, nearest underground station London Bridge.

A small charge of £20 is payable for registration, this will be made to cover refreshments throughout the day. You can register for the event here.