We would like to thank the members of the Rotary Club of Mudgee Sunrise for the generous donation towards the M3 Challenge.

The donation was confirmed today by the president of the Rotary Club of Mudgee Sunrise, Mrs Jenny Dowdy.

The fund will be used to purchase trophies, food and drink and other items need for the running of the event. The event will take place at St Matthews Catholic School, Mudgee, on Tuesday 18th October 2016, start at 10 AM.

Mudgee Mathematical Minds Challenge (M3) is presented and organised by concerned teachers, businesses and other community members over the falling level of numeracy skills among young people. The aim is to promote numeracy among young people in our region.

Date: Tuesday 18th October 2016
Time: 10:00 AM
Location: St Matthew Catholic School, 4 Lewis St, Mudgee NSW 2850

Participants are Year 5/6 (group 1) and Year 9/10 (group 2)

Prizes are to be used by the winning schools to purchase equipment for a Mathematics Enrichment Program or resources within the school.
First prize: $1,000 (per group)
Second prize: $500 (per group)
Third prize: $250 (per group)

π has been used for more than 2000 years, by all cultures around the world for measuring objects, distance, etc. π is simply a ratio of a circumference and diameter of a circle. However, this seemingly simple number is one of the elemental numbers that exists everywhere, from technology to atoms and cosmos.

Come along to a presentation of “history and application of the number π“.

“Coal forms in stratified deposits often called layer cake geology, and as miners, removing those layers is how we extract coal from the ground. We also use mathematics in the process”, says Jane Munro in a presentation at the Maths Club (Cudgegong Valley Mathematics) on Wednesday 8th July in Club Mudgee. Jane is a senior geologist at Moolarben Mine (Yan Coal) and was also recently elected as the president of the Mudgee Bushwalking Club as bushwalking is one of her pastime.

Jane enjoys using maths at work. Whilst she studied maths at university, in her daily tasks, Jane often uses the maths she learned at high school which involves geometry, trigonometry and calculus.

“Coal deposits are quite uniform, like a layer cake. Coal is formed from vegetation buried and compressed over 250 million years”, says Jane. Exploring these deposits involves drilling which provide numerical data of the characteristics of the deposit, spatial locality and variations e.g. depth, thickness and ash contents. Analysing the numerical data inevitably uses mathematics, there is no other way. The modelling tools are also developed using mathematical formula – these tools assist in predicting and validating a number of key factors and decision making e.g. cost, time, price and revenue.

Jane’s presentation has been an eye opening for the Mudgee maths enthusiasts who attended the evening. On this occasion, Jane gave a number of simple challenges to poke the minds of the crowd, for example, how many bags of cements required to grout the casing on a borehole for some given dimensions; a drill core intersecting a 15 metres of coal at a (steeper) given angle, is it worth pursuing the site further for a given set of parameters? And finally, a question that involves calculus where the coal deposits are a roll shape. The estimation requires calculating area under two polynomials.

There is no doubt that mathematics is used by geologists and mine engineers, especially in geological modelling and plotting contour map of a set of points which contains data values such as ash contents, sulfur and caloric value of the deposit. A typical distance weighting method such as inverse square distance between points is a vital part of computer modelling.

Another interesting thing about the coal seam is that the materials are deposited in bands (plies) of varying ash contents. Deciding on the combinations to target different markets such as Korea and Japan, is of course a familiar problem for mathematicians.

The attendees are most impressed with the technical details and Jane’s expertise. We have learned more knowledge from the presentation while having fun.

There you have it, a geologist and bushwalker does her maths in style!

Well, come along to the Maths club meeting on Wednesday 6 pm at Club Mudgee, room 1 upstairs.

Jane Munro, a senior geologist at Moolarben mine will speak about explorations, daily routine tasks, etc that involve Mathematical skills from statistical analysis, Trigonomety and Calculus.

This will be an interesting talk. Hope to see you there.

Have you heard people saying:
“What goes up must come down”,
“We build too many walls and not enough bridges”
Indeed, these are the words of Isaac Newton, an English mathematician and philosopher in the 16th century. Some of those words above refer to his own work in Classical Mechanics which most engineering students would be familiar with, though the words have become relevant in other things in life.
Talking of which, what are there in our day to day life that are not governed by the three law of motions, formulated by Newton more than three centuries ago? It’s probably hard to find one, particularly being inside the sphere of the earth’s gravity, everything that moves or stands still behaves in accordance to the Newtonian laws. Isaac Newton’s work in calculus allow engineers to constructs machines and buildings that ushered in the industrial revolution and create the modern world we live today.

Sof Lee will talk about the life and work of Isaac Newton at
Cudgegong Valley Mathematics (CVM – maths club)

Despite of the rainy day, people with various perspective and profession attended the meeting.

Prof. Galloway presented his work in at a general level, with some information about data presentation using graph (nodes and links), examples and knock-on effect analysis (cybernetics).

Some key points/feedback are:

An easy program at general community level to be conducted monthly, whereby we have a guest speaker or one of our member speak about a particular topic about or relating to mathematics. For example, how mathematics is applied at work/everyday life, history of various aspects of mathematics, the life and work of famous mathematicians and so forth.

Group activities/forum for various school levels, providing learning outside school for students who need assistance.

Maths trivia

Benefits to community:

Change the lives of people from various socio economic environment by improving their children numeracy and analytical skills via the group forum.

Change perception about mathematics. We have seen many young people being swayed away from learning mathematics due to the environment (family/friends/etc) as a kind of un-needed skills.

Visiting a hospital, you might ask yourself, can we make these equipments:

MRI machine

X Ray machine

Blood pressure monitor?

or

Have we been designing computer chips?

developed advanced software,

build submarine?

Most of our activities are bound to operating those utilities which does not require Maths.

The maths skills of our engineering graduates has also declined and they can no longer serve jobs requiring a high level of Maths skills. Consequently, we continue to rely on services and products from overseas.

The chart shows Australia’s export. 99% of Iron ore, gold are exported from WA while NSW and QLD made up the majority of coal exports. However, we should not place our eggs in one basket, given that education is also one of the largest contributor to the economy.

Pursues in Mathematics, Science and Engineering are paramount to the future of Australia as these are tools that allow us to enhance many aspects of the economy, defence, agriculture and many other fields.

Everyone uses Maths everyday, for example, business people use Maths everyday in:

Counting/multiply/division

Comparing figures

Analysing profits/loss, forecasting, examining movement of interest rates, investing and buying products

Evaluating strategy, planning, billing, costing, networking and improving efficiency.

Increasing chances of success, using probability, and so forth.

Successful business people are also good at Maths.

Yet we are facing a 20 year decline in Maths participation at school across Australia. The chart above is sourced from Australian Financial Review 7 June 2014.

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CVM is a Maths club that aspires to improve quality of Maths skills and improve awareness of the importance of Maths.