Mathematician in Residence

15 May 2019

Mathematician in Residence

In Term 1, the School was delighted to welcome our first ever Mathematician in Residence, Mr Anthony Harradine.

Anthony, an experienced Primary educator and facilitator of problem-solving workshops, engaged the boys in exciting mathematical challenges that focused on ‘doing maths like a research mathematician’. Anthony’s goal for the residency was for boys and teachers to experience what he believes mathematics is truly about. Exploring, noticing patterns, making conjectures, proving or disproving those conjectures, figuring out ‘why’, and thinking of ways to extend problems.

Anthony demonstrated to the boys that mathematics isn’t just about getting a right answer: ‘It’s about exploring, understanding, and knowing that there's always another question to ask’. He speaks of this process that a research mathematician goes through when he or she starts to tackle a problem.

The residency was a huge success. It was simultaneously stimulating, engaging, chaotic, frustrating and fun and, ultimately very effective in deepening boys’ conceptual understanding and encouraging flexible and creative mathematical thinking. I was lucky enough to sit in on a number of these workshops and it was clear that boys were thoroughly engaged in the brain-bending challenges being posed. It was wonderful to ‘watch' the thinking and listen to ideas shared by our enthused audience. Anthony taught us the need to be observant, to develop lots of ideas and to be persistent in testing them.

On behalf of the boys and Staff, I would like to thank Anthony for enriching our learning environment.

What a total pleasure it has been to share some of the mathematics I love with the Sydney Grammar community. Can mathematics be satisfying, even enjoyable? Well it is both for me and many more. As well as challenging the thinking of every boy, my mission for the fortnight was to provide engaging activities that resulted in satisfaction and enjoyment. I am confident that this was achieved. Thank you, Sydney Grammar, for inviting me and making me feel very welcome. What wonderful learners and teachers I have been so lucky to meet. Anthony Harradine.

Mr J Smith
Director of Studies