Wednesday 3 October 2018

Intricate floral and geometric patterns on a terracotta tile at the Taj Mahal

In this issue

The new school term has started and here at Cambridge Maths we’re enjoying being all back in the same place at the same time after a lengthy period of holidays and conferences. We’re delighted that the new academic year also sees the team expanding as we welcome Ray and Dominika into the Cambridge Maths community. Ray will be responsible for all our digital communications – including the next version of this newsletter – and will be instrumental in helping us to think about what we need to do to make the public version of the Framework user friendly. Dom joins the research team and will be working with Ellen and the writing team in tightening up our evaluation procedures as well as being responsible for a couple of new initiatives – of which more next time…

Rachael and I spent part of our summer in India, at the invitation of CUP. We were extremely well looked after and really enjoyed working with large groups of teachers in Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi. We talked with policymakers and publishers, and, as a highlight, spent a whole day with eminent mathematicians at the Chennai Institute of Mathematical Sciences, sharing ideas about future curricula with knowledgeable and extremely interested groups of mathematicians. India has such a wonderful history of mathematical endeavour but, like us in the UK, are wishing to bring the subject matter into the 21st century whilst not losing sight of the discipline. While we were in India Darren was in Japan presenting at the ICOTs conference and Ellen and Tabs are now planning their conference presentation at the ICMI working group in Japan later in the month – so it will have been a truly international couple of months.

We’re so appreciative of the time spent on our behalf by a whole raft of International colleagues, many of whom have been helping us with our formal evaluation. That Delphi study, headed up by Ellen, has returned fascinating results from the first round and we are in the process of interrogating responses from round two, which we will publish in due course.

So now it’s full steam ahead to the end of the year. We hope your academic year has started well if you’re in the northern hemisphere and we wish you as glorious a summer as ours if you’re down south!

Best wishes,

Annual UKAG meeting

Last month we held our annual UK Advisory Group meeting. The theme of the meeting this year was algebraic thinking and how to represent it in the Framework. We were building on discussions at our previous symposium where we worked with experts in the field to try to unpack what we mean by algebraic thinking and where and how it should feature in our work. We have been skating around it for some time and, thanks to input from many helpful colleagues, we think we are nearly sorted…


Every two months we bring you an Espresso - a small but intense draught of filtered research on mathematics education. These are gaining traction both here and abroad as their usefulness to the research-to-practice community is recognised. We hear they’ve got as far as Australia… Espresso 14 suggests effective ways to introduce comparison between data sets. 

What else is new...

Three members of the Cambridge Maths team are currently studying for Masters degrees. Lucy and Darren have just started a 2-year Master of Education course at Cambridge and Rachael is in the second year of a 4-year M.Phil in Maths Education at Nottingham, with plans to extend her studies there to a Doctorate.  

As well as undertaking a new course of study, Darren is now a fully trained Statistical Ambassador. The RSS Statistical Ambassador Scheme is designed to increase the number of the Society's members talking about statistics in public. Ambassadors are trained to respond to requests from the media and event organisers, developing skills which enable them to explain often complex statistics in a way that is precise and easy to understand for a non-expert audience.   

Our Twitter following has exceeded 6,000! We use Twitter to record the usual activities and to announce newly published team blogs and Espressos. If you don't allready follow us, you can do so @CambridgeMaths

Upcoming events

Over the next few months the team will be attending the following events:

BSRLM Autumn Conference which is taking place on 10 November at Kings College, London.

As Lynne mentioned above, Ellen and Tabs will be presenting at ICMI Study 24 in Tsukuba, Japan; this study conference takes place from 25 to 30 November.

Lynne is presenting a keynote at MAV18 in Melbourne, Australia, which runs from 6 to 7 December.

For more details of these and other events of interest to the maths community, please visit the Events page on our website

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