The Welchman Prize

Wednesday 19th June 2024

The final of the 7th Annual Welchman Prize took place on Tuesday 18th June with four finalists giving outstanding presentations in what proved to the closest final for a number of years.

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.

After such an impressive round of presentations, the judges were not able to reach a unanimous decision; every finalist was the favourite of at least one Maths beak present.

Ben A explored the calculation of centres of mass of uniform laminae before setting and solving a problem regarding a toppling pentagon; how much of a right-angle triangle can you cut from the bottom corner of a rectangle before it topples? All four finalists spoke with authority, clarity, and delivered a presentation that fitted the criteria regarding time and mathematical content. Finn C created an example, inspired by a city builder computer game to explain, with terrific clarity, the concept of Critical Path Analysis. James F gave an engaging talk on the nature of randomness and explored a number of different examples of things that appear random but aren’t really and Elliot R gave a lovely proof of the existence of transcendental numbers.
Congratulations go to Ben A who was named this year’s winner.

About The Welchman Prize

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.

To read an extended article ‘The Forgotten Genius of Gordon Welchman’ in The Marlburian Club Magazine, click here.

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