How do the Mariner and Voyager spacecraft send information to Earth? What makes satellite broadcasting work? From the accuracy of ancient translations to the clarity of YouTube via the internet, participants in this camp will discover the world of error correction coding - the practical applications of maths and programming at work behind clear communications today.
Bringing maths alive and learning programming in a fun and exciting way lie at the heart of what we do at LondonSMP. Children at this camp will discover how mathematicians made communication in deep-space possible and how it works through the programming of error correction software that makes internet and satellite broadcasts possible.
Imagine a picture of the Mona Lisa being broadcast back from deep space - how the data might be corrupted and parts of the painting lost. Now imagine maths and software so clever it can restore the picture:
This camp is for children interested in maths and programming who want to cement their existing knowledge, discover real life applications for it and learn much more, all online in small groups with like minded pupils.
In Programming, we’ll learn about error correction software: how it works and is used to decipher weak messages from space, support internet users and even repair damaged data in storage. When space probes send messages from far points in the solar system, these can be partly destroyed or changed in space, arriving as faint sounds. We’ll look at the coding that supports the modern language of communication, deciphering these messages by spotting errors and applying computer driven corrections.
In Maths, all year groups will have two daily classes, one on the mathematics of Error Correction and one focused on problem solving. The modern development of error correction codes is credited to Richard Hamming, an American mathematician, in 1947. When the CD and DVD were created mathematicians worked to develop a process that would allow them to play even if scratched or dirty. We’ll look at the array of maths subjects that apply to this. In problem solving, children will tackle different levels of UKMT challenges from the Primary Maths Challenge and International Kangaroo up to more senior levels looking at Combinatorics, Number Theory and Senior UKMT challenges.
Here are more details of what will be studied by each Year group:
The maths of communication: the beginnings of Combinatorics. How many ways are there to colour a cube? How many different meal combinations can be chosen from a menu? How many routes can be taken from A to B? Systematic counting serves as a basis on which to build the main ideas of combinatorics and we invite our younger campers to make their first steps in the art of enumeration.
The maths of communication: pupils will learn the basics of Combinatorics and become familiar with non-decimal number systems. In problem solving, children will look at Number Theory, Geometry and will tackle different levels of UKMT challenges from the Primary Maths Challenge and international mathematics competitions.
The maths of communication: the mathematics of Twenty Questions and how to handle lost questions and lies: football pools and winning strategies, Hamming Distance and the geometry of the space of words. In problem solving, pupils will study the Combinatorics of words and games. Children will also learn about the strange world of Dog Geometry.
The maths of communication: the coding of the Mariner space probe, the mathematics of the CD disk, the maths of Twenty Questions and how to handle lost questions and lies: football pools and winning strategies, Hamming Distance and the geometry of the space of words. In problem solving pupils will study the simultaneous systems of equations and Hamming codes: error probabilities on a CD and the problem of how to discover the ‘wrong weight’.
Format and fees for the senior online camp:
- class sizes are six pupils or fewer of similar age and ability
- each day runs for six hours with four one hour classes and strategic breaks from the screen between them
- class times are: 10.00-11.00, 11.30-12.30, 13.30-14.30, 15.00-16.00
- all classes are interactive, using Zoom, with pupils solving problems with the teacher and with each other
- pupils must have a PC or laptop (Windows or Mac OS) with a camera and mic and a stable internet connection.
- fees are £500 for five days. Bookings of fewer days are not possible for this camp
Places are limited, please register your interest HERE.