Alton College: ‘Best College’ for Maths

For the fourth time in its six year history, Alton College has won the trophy for Best College at the Hampshire AS Further Maths Puzzle Day this month.

The Puzzle Day was open to all the schools and colleges in Hampshire that offer AS Further Maths. Alton College took joint first and third place plus the Best College trophy.

The competition involved students working in pairs to answer tricky mathematical questions including multiple simultaneous equations, difficult graphs, complex numbers (using i = √-1), probability and calculus.

Edd Evans, previously at Weydon School and Mari Thomas from St Swithun’s School, represented Alton College along with Kris Stokkereit, (Frensham Heights School) and Jonty Bayliss (Amery Hill). Edd and Mari finished in joint first place while Kris and Jonty were close behind in third.

Dr Dave Lynch, Curriculum Manager for Maths at Alton College was elated with the result and said: “The trophy adds to our very impressive record in competitions, having represented the county three years running in the national Senior Team Maths Challenge and the country once in the Italian Team Maths Competition. The students worked wonderfully well together and it was lovely to see them enjoying solving lots of challenging and thought provoking maths problems.  Well done to Edd, Mari, Kris and Jonty!”

Meanwhile, Ed Kirkby has exceeded expectations again as he scored an impressive 32/40 at the British Maths Olympiad Round 2.

The path to Ed’s success began with his entry into the Senior Maths Challenge where for the fourth year running, he scored an impressive 125/125. The result saw him sail through to the British Maths Olympiad Round 1 along with three other students from Alton College. Only 1000 students nationally make it to this stage of the competition.

Round 2 of the Olympiad was next in Ed’s sights. He did wonderfully well in this gruelling exam of 4 extremely taxing questions in 3 ½ hours, gaining a score of 32/40. This put Ed in an incredible 10th place in the country.

In addition to his remarkable score, Ed has also been awarded the first ever Christopher Bradley elegance prize. One question, which Ed got correct, was “Every diagonal of a regular polygon with 2014 sides is coloured in one of n colours. Whenever two diagonals cross in the interior, they are of different colours. What is the minimum value of n for which this is possible?” Dr Lynch commented that “though these questions might by understood by most Maths students, the vast majority would not have a clue how to start to solve them!  After a bit of thought, Ed managed to do it in 6 lines of writing and one small diagram. Nice one Ed!”

Peter Symonds Sixth Form College and independent King Edward VI School took 2nd and 3rd place at the Hampshire AS Further Maths Puzzle Day.