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Secondary Magazine - Issue 31: The interview


This page has been archived. The content was correct at the time of original publication, but is no longer updated.
Created on 01 April 2009 by ncetm_administrator
Updated on 27 April 2009 by ncetm_administrator

Secondary Magazine Issue 31
 

The Interview

Name: Adrian Oldknow
 

About you: Originally a maths teacher in secondary schools and FE, then in HE. Retired as head of maths at what is now the University of Chichester (Emeritus Professor). Now freelance consultant. Recent past chair of the MA’s ICT and PD committees. Treasurer/vice chair of the JMC. Chaired the JMC/RS Geometry Working Group.
 

The most recent use of mathematics in your job was... to calculate the optimum angle of release of a projectile (a STOMP rocket) to trace the longest parabolic arc for a given initial velocity.
 

Some mathematics that amazed you is... that there are still new, fundamental things out there to be discovered, and proved – in my case in 2D/3D Euclidean geometry. That virtually no-one, however well educated mathematically, knows whether or not regular tetrahedra fill space in the way equilateral triangles tile the plane.
 

Why mathematics?  Because it provides immense intellectual stimulus requiring few other resources than brain, memory, means of communication and means of computation. 
 

Your favourite/most significant mathematics-related anecdote is… While doing some recent rocket modelling with Y9 students: “You mean to say that the stuff we’ve been learning about right-angled triangles actually has some use!”
 

A mathematics joke that makes you laugh is… if there are ten cats in a boat and one jumps out, how many are left?
None, they were all copycats!
 
Your favourite television programme is… Now there’s little worth seeing – though I’m still addicted to University Challenge. Have I Got News for You, when it returns. It used to be Drop the Dead Donkey, but satire on TV is dead just now. 
 
Your favourite ice-cream flavour is... coffee.
 
Who inspired you? Trevor Fletcher.
 
If you weren’t doing this job you would… be rich.
 
 
 
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