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Mathematics appears all around us in the world. While the uses of mathematics in areas such as finance, engineering and science are well known, it is less obvious how mathematical concepts and structures arise in entertainment, the arts and indeed in almost every field of human endeavour. In this subject we will develop the tools to appreciate and examine how mathematical concepts and structures arise in many diverse areas. There will be four modules over the semester covering: magic, juggling, music, and games. We will see how mathematical concepts can be applied to these areas to help us understand their structure and to help us produce new patterns and tricks. These modules will be bookended by discussions of the mathematical principles that are to be found in these topics, and in the world more generally.
Intended learning outcomes
At completion of this subject, students should be able to:
- Appreciate that mathematical structures exist throughout nature and that the natural world is therefore susceptible to logical reasoning.
- Analyse how to count things combinatorially, which is of fundamental importance in understanding probability.
- Appreciate that the concept of proof is a crucial element of mathematical reasoning.
- Describe the waves that create the sound we hear as music.
- Communicate mathematical ideas and arguments using mathematical notation and terminology.
- Apply mathematical techniques and concepts to reason about structures arising in performance arts.
- Problem solving skills: the ability to engage with unfamiliar problems and identify relevant solution strategies.
- Analytical skills: the ability to construct and express logical arguments and to work in abstract or general terms to increase the clarity and efficiency of analysis.
- Collaborative skills: the ability to work in a team.
- Time management skills: the ability to meet regular deadlines while balancing competing commitments.
Last updated: 5 December 2019