Number Crunching with Dr Ben Sparks Posted - 08/05/2019


Have numbers been created or have they always been there and are we merely just discovering them? This was the question posed to pupils who attended a Maths talk at the Royal Grammar School in Guildford. Dr Ben Sparks, a mathematician and musician, gave a fascinating insight into the two schools of thought regarding numbers. He covered the different types of numbers studied and the order in which they were discovered or created.

From the Natural numbers on a journey through the Integers and the introduction of Nothing, he made pupils consider what year came after 1BC and why? He delved into the Rationals and how controversial the Irrationals initially were, how Hippasus was believed to have been silenced by the Pythagoreans for daring to believe in the existence of them, and finally the beauty of the Imaginary Numbers.

Dr Sparks finished off with a fascinating insight into how Mandelbrot Sets and Fractals are created. An entertaining lecture with plenty of food for thought!                               

Amanda Alkema, Maths Department

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