Blogs and News - St George's School For Girls, Edinburgh
Recently four girls won the regional round of the United Kingdom Mathematics Trust Team Mathematics Challenge competition. They will now be put forward to the national final in London.
The Senior Mathematical Challenge (SMC) is run by the UK Mathematics Trust. The SMC encourages mathematical reasoning, precision of thought, and fluency in using basic mathematical techniques to solve interesting problems. It is aimed at those in full-time education and with sufficient mathematical competence to undertake a post-16 course.
The problems on the SMC are designed to make students think. Most are accessible, yet still challenge those with more experience; they are also meant to be memorable and enjoyable.
Mathematics controls more aspects of the modern world than most people realise - from iPods, cash machines, telecommunications and airline booking systems to production processes in engineering, efficient distribution and stock-holding, investment strategies and 'whispering' jet engines. The scientific and industrial revolutions flowed from the realisation that mathematics was both the language of nature, and also a way of analysing - and hence controlling - our environment. In the last fifty years, old and new applications of mathematical ideas have transformed the way we live.
All these developments depend on mathematical thinking - a mode of thought whose essential style is far more permanent than the wave of technological change which it has made possible. The problems on the SMC reflect this style, which pervades all mathematics, by encouraging students to think clearly about challenging problems.
The SMC was established as the National Mathematics Contest in 1961. In recent years there have been over 110,000 entries from around 2,200 schools and colleges. Certificates are awarded to the highest scoring 60% of candidates (Gold:Silver:Bronze, 1:2:3)