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Queen Mary’s professor Peter McOwan puts magic into maths

PUBLISHED: 18:44 14 February 2012

Prof Peter McOwan

Prof Peter McOwan

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Teachers are using magic tricks in maths to help pupils in London’s East End get to grips with their sums.

Researchers at Queen Mary University of London’s Mile End campus have come up with a magic formula which includes tricks to teach arithmetic.

The online educational programme they’ve developed includes the ‘Manual for Mathematical Magic’ and a series of interactive videos.

It has been put together by Queen Mary’s Professor Peter McOwan—with the help of the college’s resident stand-up comedian Matt Parker and semi-professional magician and maths teacher Jason Davison.

“It was great fun showing how maths and magic can fuse education and entertainment together,” said Prof McOwan.

“We explain most of the tricks, but have deliberately included a few where we leave the viewer to figure it out.

“It’s all just maths, but we wanted to leave some magical mystery in there as well.”

The website builds on teaching resources including ‘illusioneering,’ which explores science and engineering through magic tricks. The website is at: www.mathematicalmagic.com

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