Wester Hailes Education Centre visit - In Euler's Footsteps

On Tuesday 22 November, Donna Heritage, Curriculum Leader for Maths, Numeracy and Technologies at Wester Hailes Education Centre (WHEC) and 40 WHEC pupils (aged 14-17) visited Heriot-Watt University. They were led on a tour of the campus, including campus accommodation and Oriam, by current students and enjoyed a bespoke lecture by Professor Mark Lawson on the mathematics behind Eulerian trails. Professor Lawson said:

‘Many people think that mathematics is about numbers probably because much of the mathematics we learn in school is about numbers. But this is far from the truth. The goal of this lecture was to introduce some mathematical ideas that are rarely encountered in school, have important applications but which do not involve numbers and also require no particular background in mathematics to understand and appreciate. The basic problem is easy to describe: given a road network, when can you make a round trip that starts and ends at home that uses every road exactly once. The goal of the lecture was to figure out when this is possible and why. This problem has real-life applications that range from engineering to the study of DNA'.

Following the visit, Ms Heritage said ‘It was an excellent trip and the students (and teachers!) really enjoyed themselves'.

If you are a teacher and would like to bring your pupils to visit Heriot-Watt for a campus tour and a mathematics lecture, please contact the School's UG Admissions Officer, Holly Lumsden, at ugenquiries@macs.hw.ac.uk'.