The final of the sixth annual Welchman Prize has been won by Maria Julia R. The competition is entered by all pupils studying Further Mathematics A level in the Lower Sixth and each has to submit an extended article and give a presentation on its contents.
Maria gave an engaging and enthusiastic talk proving a special case of Laplace’s Theorem. Her charisma allowed the assembled audience to follow the narrative as she explored the pros and cons of different approaches in a rapid-fire and wonderfully illustrated address. Joining her were finalists Catriona M, George T, and Max D who respectively spoke authoritatively about Leibniz’s Harmonic Triangle, computational complexity of sorting algorithms, and the Mathematics behind inflation and interest rates.
Gordon Welchman (C3 1920-25), for whom the prize is named, is Marlborough College’s most important mathematical alumnus. A lecturer in Algebraic Geometry at Cambridge University, his academic career was interrupted by the Second World War when he worked at Bletchley Park. His book, The Hut Six Story, was the first to give detailed information about the operations to crack German ciphers.