In general, I try to avoid pride, what with it coming before a fall and all that. But there are some occasions that overcome my resolve and the Exeter Mathematics Certificate (EMC) Christmas Lectures is perhaps the most seductive of them all. The last Thursday of the school’s autumn term has, since 2014, been my proudest day of the year and yesterday proved to be no different; without exception, our year 12 students impressed.
I’m proud because our students have persevered with some seriously challenging problems.
I’m proud because they have collaborated effectively with their peers.
I’m proud because they have communicated clearly through academic posters and presentations.
I’m proud because they spoke to an audience of over 400 people.
I’m proud because they have overcome nerves.
I’m proud because they were articulate and engaging.
I’m proud because of the support they have given one another.
I have no right to be proud. This is none of my doing. And yet, I cannot help it. Students who were just a few months ago studying for GCSEs are now presenting the findings of their research, which often spans way beyond the A-level curriculum, to a theatre full of people.
I’m exceptionally grateful to the team of teachers that have supported them towards this point and to the inspiration of University of Exeter academics and students.
Below, you can see copies of the students’ academic posters together with videos of their presentations. Consider this our Christmas gift to you. With 12 groups in total, there’s almost one for every day of the holidays.