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FE Magazine - Issue 9: The mathematics I do

This page has been archived. The content was correct at the time of original publication, but is no longer updated.
Created on 08 April 2010 by ncetm_administrator
Updated on 22 April 2010 by ncetm_administrator


FE Magazine Issue 9microphone

The Mathematics I do - Professor Adam McBride

About me
I am Professor of Mathematics at the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow), and Chair of Council of the Mathematical Association. [Prof. McBride is a founder member of the United Kingdom Mathematics Trust, and also of the British Mathematical Olympiad].

The mathematics I use at work...
includes differential and integral equations, modelling evolutionary processes e.g. coagulation and fragmentation of particles.

The mathematics I’ve used in the last week...
I used some combinatorics to count the number of patterns for fingering in music, subject to various restrictions.
Mathematics which has amazed and/or surprised me...
the result of Gauss proving which regular polygons can be constructed using a straight edge and compasses.
The part of mathematics I like most...
is number theory because of its elegance, and mathematical analysis because of its importance in studying mathematical models.
The part of mathematics I like least...
is statistics. 
A maths teacher I remember...
is Alex Balfour who gave us weekly puzzles long before any competitions existed.
And another teacher I remember...
is Bill Craig who encouraged me to study maths at university and recommended some useful books.
And other people/events that have influenced my attitude to mathematics include...
a lecture on semi-groups of operators in 1973, the start of Mathematical Challenge in Scotland, and involvement in the International Mathematical Olympiad.
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