The importance of maths – Disease modelling with mathematics

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By Stuart Roberts, RMIT

Growing up I never had a full understanding of just how important mathematics was in everyday life. Mathematics was always my favourite subject in school, but despite how interested I was, I never saw that it was an option for a career. Even in maths class in my final year of high school I had no idea the extent to which what I was taught was being applied in real life, and I certainly had no idea that everything I had learned to that point had barely scratched the surface of what I would come to learn.

During my final week of high school my math teacher suggested to me that I look into a degree in mathematics. I was surprised to hear that mathematics degrees even existed or that it could lead on to exciting careers. After looking into the outcomes of these courses I realised just how important mathematics was to the world we live in. From then on I didn’t see it as just another subject in school. I saw it as a language used to describe and model nature. That was when I knew I wanted a career in mathematics.

Mathematics has a wide range of applications. One of those applications is modelling disease, which is important in identifying treatment strategies and controlling public health. For my project I focused on a model we hope can be used to model the evolution of a population of tumour cells after undergoing chemical treatment. We live in a world of constant change, so it is important that the model can be implemented in a constantly changing environment. The goal of my project was to investigate the dynamics of a model that could be used to model the growth and decay of tumour cells in a slowly varying environment.

If the model is successful in fitting real data, and the factors that influence the model parameters can be identified, this work could be used to assist estimating the time or intensity of the treatment needed to rid the body of tumour cells.

Stuart Roberts was one of the recipients of a 2013/14 AMSI Vacation Research Scholarship.

This piece first appeared on the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI) Vacation Research Scholarship blog.

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TEDtalks and Maths

adam spencer ted

Sometimes when we’re needing a break, we take some time to indulge in the wonderful world of TEDtalks. More importantly, we love discovering TEDtalks that are all about mathematics. Here are a few talks that we think are worth a look at:

Adam Spencer: Why I fell in love with monster prime numbers

Hannah Fry: The mathematics of love

Scott Rickard: The beautiful math behind the ugliest music

Harry Baker: A love poem for lonely prime numbers

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The Sounds of Pi

o-PI-NUMBER-facebookMarch 14th marks Pi Day! Each year around the world maths enthusiasts celebrate that symbolic Greek letter (“π”) that represents the circumference of a circle to its diameter.

Why is Pi Day March 14th you may ask? Well, that all comes down to the form of writing the month before the date (3/14 – March 14). Smart hey!

To celebrate the annual event, we have found a video posted by Michael Blake on YouTube a few years ago. This video presents what Pi would sound like if played on several musical instruments.

Enjoy and Happy Pi Day!

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Big numbers reign supreme at HOTmaths!

At Cambridge HOTmaths, we’re always happy to crunch numbers and work out figures. Recently we were pleased to find that more than 180,000 questions are answered on HOTmaths each day. That means that more than 1 million questions are answered each week on HOTmaths. Now that’s a lot of questions and answers!

Try HOTmaths now in your classroom and sign up now for an instant free trial! You can also visit us on Facebook, TwitterYouTube. Come say hi!

0215 HOTmaths website number facts_small

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From King Henry VIII to HOTmaths…

Check out how the world’s oldest publisher came to publish cutting-edge digital resources here in Australia!

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Click here to view the video or click here to see more HOTmaths videos.

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HOTmaths wins at the 2014 Education Publishing Awards Australia (EPAA)

IMG_0446We are proud to announce that HOTmaths won two EPAA awards at the Australian Publishers Association event yesterday:

hPrimary: Student Resource – Mathematics (Numeracy)

Cambridge HOTmaths FUNdamentals iPad application.                  Author Rachel Neely.

hTertiary and Vocational: Outstanding Digital Resource

Primary Mathematics: Capitalising on ICT for Today and Tomorrow (HOTmaths component).  Authors Penelope Serow, Rosemary Callingham, Tracey Muir.

EPAA awards recognise exceptional educational products, with a focus on innovation and quality.  This year it was the primary content on HOTmaths that scooped two awards.

The FUNdamentals iPad app is a dedicated app designed to help Foundation to Year 2 students build numeracy skills through playing and exploring.  It is supported by a complete suite of teaching notes, interactive widgets and printable material available through the HOTmaths website.  To learn more about this award-winning app, see our interview with the author, Rachel Neely.

Primary Mathematics: Captialising on ICT for Today and Tomorrow is a textbook that provides a comprehensive introduction to teaching mathematics.  The authors believe that ICT can be a powerful tool for enhancing student learning, and HOTmaths has been embedded throughout the textbook as an example of this innovative new type of technology.

Primary Mathematics actually won two EPAA awards yesterday: best Tertiary Student Resource and Tertiary and Vocational: Outstanding Digital Resource (HOTmaths component.)  Visit our site to find out more about this textbook.

If you haven’t yet tried HOTmaths in your primary classroom, sign up now for an instant free trial, or contact us to try it with your students in Term 4.

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The best parts of HOTmaths, decided by you.

We recently ran a competition asking teachers to tell us what they liked about HOTmaths.  Congratulations to the winner, Warren Richards from Queensland.

Dozens of teachers told us about their favourite parts of HOTmaths, sharing expert advice and classroom experiences.  While a surprising number of features were nominated, there were three clear winners. Nearly 50% of teachers told us they loved the test generator, while 35% mentioned the widgets and 32% liked the printable HOTsheets.

So why do teachers love the test generator, widgets and worksheets?  Here’s what some of them had to say.

The Test Generator

The Test Generator library

The Test Generator library

“I recently tried using the online assessment and was surprised how easy it was to set up, wishing I had used it earlier.” – Elizabeth, Burradoo NSW

Don’t let 2014 slip by without trying the Test Generator!  This is by far the most popular part of the site, with nearly half of all respondents recommending it as an easy way to create online, automarked assessment activities tailored to your needs.

“I particularly love the breadth, depth and creativity of the test questions. Some of them are so clever in their design and really get my extension class thinking!  The less able students are catered for due to the ability to differentiate the level of question asked. To be able to then look at each student’s results per question is fantastic!” – Leah, Ringwood VIC

Widgets

Trig functions widget

Trig functions widget

35% of respondents recommended the interactive widgets on HOTmaths.  Not only are they brilliant for in-class demonstration, they really make a difference for students who struggle with new ideas.

“I love being able to login in the classroom and show the students all the widgets, it’s often only then that the lights come on. Students can see demonstrated, in a fun way, what I have been trying to teach them all along.” – Charlene, Mayfield NSW

Need a widget for today’s class?  Just type the concept you are looking for into the search field, open the widgets tab and take your pick.

Worksheets

HOTsheet matching graphs and vessels

HOTsheet matching graphs and vessels

Nearly one third of teachers told us that the printable HOTsheets are one of the best parts of HOTmaths. With hundreds of them easily accessible through the online search feature, they are helping teachers set homework, cater to fast finishers and provide stimulating classroom activities.

“The HOTsheets are usually exactly what I’m looking for to introduce or consolidate students skills” – Chloe, McKinnon VIC

“One thing I really liked about HOTmaths is the simple to challenging worksheets. The best part is they come with their solutions.” – Manpreet, North Rocks NSW

If you haven’t yet tried out these popular tools, now is the time to give it a go!

You can access advice and instructions via the HOTmaths help, available through the question mark icon when you are logged in.  Or contact your Cambridge consultant for advice – we’re happy to help.

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Tell us what you like about HOTmaths to win a $500 Flight Centre voucher!

Flight Centre VoucherThis competition is open to all teachers, whether you currently use HOTmaths or not.  Just tell us what you like about the program to go into the draw to win a $500 Flight Centre voucher.  We will share your experience with other teachers.

For hints on where to start, check out our brand new video to get inspired!

HOTmaths video still

How to enter
  1. Visit HOTmaths at www.cambridge.edu.au/hotmaths between now and 22 August 2014.
  2. Log in to HOTmaths.  Use your existing account, or create a trial account for this competition by clicking on Try it now and following the prompts for a 14-day trial account.
  3. Explore the HOTmaths site and see what you like!
  4. Submit your comment via Facebook, Twitter, or email us.

Facebook icon smallTo enter via Facebook, visit our page and post on our wall.

Twitter icon smallTo enter via Twitter, tweet us @HOTmathsHQ and include #hotmaths in your tweet.

Email icon smallTo enter via email, send your comment to educationmarketing@cambridge.edu.au.  Please include your name, suburb and contact details.

For full terms and conditions, please click here.

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Problem solving with HOTmaths

Did you know that the HOT in HOTmaths stands for Higher Order Thinking?

Cambridge HOTmaths, Australia’s premier online maths resource, has been designed from the outset to help learners develop skills in problem solving, analysis, evaluation and higher order mathematical thinking. Here are some of the ways HOTmaths helps students develop as confident problem solvers.

FUNdamentals activity - Balloon Pop

FUNdamentals activity – Balloon Pop

For students in the first three years of school, the FUNdamentals page in HOTmaths offers a wealth of highly visual learning activities. Students solve problems by exploring, playing, and doing, with visual and spoken feedback provided along the way.

Teaching Notes - Addition and subtraction strategies

Teaching Notes – Addition and subtraction strategies

 

 

Teaching notes support this approach, suggesting creative ways to teach a variety of learning strategies, and providing flexible resources and interactives to help demonstrate them.

 

 

 

 

Walkthrough - Tree Diagram

 

For students in Years 3-10, HOTmaths offers a range of resources that help students learn to think and work like mathematicians. For example, walkthroughs offer challenging multi-step problems, with hints and advice provided at each point as students work towards solving the problem.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Worksheet - Algebra flowcharts

Worksheet – Algebra flowcharts

 

Printable worksheets offer investigations, puzzles, and problems, and often require students to apply their mathematical skills to the real world scenarios or combine knowledge from several different areas to find the right answer. Worksheet solutions are always available and offer additional information, notes on language, and different strategic approaches.

 

 

 

 

 

Challenge Questions - Circle Geometry

 

HOTmaths also offers hundreds of individually written Challenge questions that require students to use problem-solving skills to analyse the question and find a solution.

The best way to see some of these challenging problems is to try out HOTmaths with your class and see how they do. You can project walkthroughs or questions onto a whiteboard, print out worksheets or Challenge questions for small group work, or even assign different tasks to different students, to cater for different learning needs and abilities.

 

 

 

To find out more or to set up your trial today, please contact us.

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Australian Curriculum grids

Australian Curriculum Year 8 Topic page

Have you seen our Australian Curriculum grids yet? To support schools using the comprehensive Australian Curriculum courses on HOTmaths, we have grids available for each Year level. The grids map HOTmaths to the Australian Curriculum and vice versa, so you can quickly find the HOTmaths resources to match a particular Australian Curriculum content description code. The grids are available under the ‘more information’ link on each topic page.

Australian Curriculum Year 8 Grid – selection

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