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Wii ball games in Newcastle and Sheffield

At the end of April I made a trip to Newcastle and back via Sheffield to give my talk on Spin in Ball Games and play on the Wii. Both of these events were fun and I think provided some welcome revision relief for the students. At this time of year a lot of universities have ceased all but revision lectures and the appetite I found for careers talks in February is much reduced by now. Both of these talks were organised by the student societies and I think it is useful for me to have in my repertoire more fun events to engage with students in these situations.

Below are the posters used to advertise my presence in the two universities (click to enlarge). Apart from the completely made up title and abstract at Sheffield (my fault for not sending the real one), I think it is interesting to note the differences in approach taken. At Sheffield, an attempt is made to make the talk appear like a serious mathematical lecture on the physics of spin in ball games and how these are modelled in video games, using ‘examples’ on the Wii. On the other hand Newcastle make no bones about it, using a large photo of a Wii on the poster! In reality, the Newcastle interpretation is closer to reality; this is intended to be a fun night out of tenuous mathematical relevance in which the students have a laugh and go home a little more aware of the existence of the IMA. The ‘serious’ talk at Sheffield had to pause at one point when one of the players had a call from his girlfriend who, with the noise of the Wii in the background, would simply not believe he was at a maths event. “No really, it’s a serious maths lecture from the IMA” he said, with Mario Power Tennis sound effects in the background.


Advert for my talk at Newcastle
Advert for my talk at Sheffield

Wii ball games in Greenwich

Yesterday I took the Wii to the Mathsoc at the University of Greenwich. I gave a talk on spin in the ball games pool, golf and tennis and then the students played pool and tennis on the Wii. I think everyone had a good time and hopefully it raised or reinforced their awareness of the IMA. It was a good evening, anyhow. Some pictures follow.

Playing pool
Playing pool 2
Playing tennis
Playing tennis 2