Thursday, May 03, 2007

Chinese Maths Puzzle

It's been an odd week. After attempting the (now famous) 'Chinese Maths Puzzle' while eating my lunch one day last week, I discovered on Monday that:
  1. I'd actually managed to get it right, and
  2. They had pulled my solution out of the hat and I was the prize winner
My phone never normally rings at work. This week I've had to answer the damned thing. Yes, Newsnight can come and film. No, I don't mind having some photos taken for the Brighton Argus. Ring, ring, ring...

I shouldn't complain, because I did volunteer to do some publicity for the RSoC when I spoke to them on the phone. It's an important message that they are trying to get across: if we don't sufficiently challenge our students at GCSE and A-Level, then they aren't going to be able to cope at degree level and our supply of new British engineers and scientists will dry up. That would be a shame, because science and engineering are two things we're good at in this country.

It's starting to look as if the media are reporting this as either a) Yay, we beat the Chinese, or b) RSoC were wrong, we can do maths. Neither of these quite get the point behind all of this, unfortunately. I may have a go at putting my thoughts down later.

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