Maths Week Scotland, the annual celebration of the importance of mathematics in everyday life, took place from Monday 30 September to Sunday 6 October. On Friday 4 October the RSS Highlands Group held a Maths Week Scotland event at Cults Academy, Aberdeenshire, with guest speaker Dr Lee Fawcett, this year’s RSS William Guy lecturer. Lee delivered a talk called ‘Storm of the Century!’ to approximately 40 pupils from S6 level (17 years old).
Lee’s talk was about the importance of modelling extreme sea fluctuations so that governments can plan appropriately for potential catastrophic events e.g. by informing the height of damns. The pupils were set various tasks that included estimating the probability of reaching different maximum sea heights using the Gumbel model.
Afterwards many of the students asked Lee some excellent questions on the contents of his talk and on statistics in general. The event was a success and one that we will repeat and build upon for next year’s Maths Week Scotland.