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Winning team of nationwide maths challenge announced

Press release issued: 16 October 2013

The winning team of a nationwide mathematical challenge, Wycombe Abbey School, will be at the University of Bristol today [Wednesday 16 October] to collect their prize.

Schools were challenged in June by the University’s Department of Engineering Mathematics to use their maths skills to solve an important real-world problem and win £1,000.

The winners of the competition are Elizabeth Withers, Esi Neubert, and Emily Coales from Wycombe Abbey School, High Wycombe, who will be at the University to collect their prize with their maths teacher, Sally Harbour.

The competition, the first event of its kind, challenged students to find innovative solutions for optimising parking space in cities.

Professor Eddie Wilson, Head of the Department of Engineering Mathematics, said: “Real-world problem solving - using mathematical modelling and computing - is at the heart of our degree programmes.

“It’s been great to see A-level students combining their mathematics, curiosity and creativity to solve an important practical problem.”

The Wycombe Abbey team was successful in a field of over 200 students from 50 schools throughout the UK. The expert judges from the Engineering Mathematics Department were particularly impressed by the team’s balanced approach, with insights in the physics of cars, actual measurements of turning circles, and analytical mathematical reasoning to find optimal car park configurations.

The winning team is attending the award ceremony in Bristol together with runners-up from Marlborough College, St Leonards-Mayfield School, The Sixth Form College, Colchester, St Marylebone C.E. School, Clifton College, and Bristol Grammar School, who have been commended for their solutions.

The Engineering Mathematics competition is the first in a series of annual events. The challenge for the 2014 competition is scheduled to be announced next May.

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