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ADRC- W engage next generation of data scientists

Mathematics Masterclass glittering public engagement

Written by Lynsey Cross, ADRC-Wales


Data driven science is at the heart of many breakthroughs in science. This research has the opportunity to positively affect the global community. Public education and information provision about the need for research based on administrative data is important if there is to be a greater acceptance or legitimacy for use of administrative data for research.

For this reason, public engagement is at the heart of everything we do at the ADRN. Public engagement is about organising participatory activities which involve people in the research process. To be truly effective, this must be a two-way process.

Public engagement is about raising awareness and empowering people, articulating the potential public benefits of the work and research of the ADRN in plain English. 

ADRC-W public engagement at Swansea University

At ADRC-W engaging with the public and our community is a key part of our work. ADRC-W regularly organises public events, to generate meaningful two way conversations about our research and its impact, and to inspire the next generation of data scientists.

Throughout the spring term of 2017 ADRC-W hosted the Mathematics Masterclass for Girls at Swansea University, alongside the Farr Institute at CIPHER and NCPHWR*.

The masterclass is a series of Saturday sessions aimed at Year 10, female pupils with a keen interest in mathematics.

Through a variety of topics, research staff based at the university give pupils a taste of the nature of mathematical thinking, with an aim to encourage even more girls to pursue scientific studies and careers.

Masterclass raises profile of ADRC-W

As part of ADRC-W on-going programme of public engagement, a team of female researchers and analysts from Swansea University and the Office of National Statistics (ONS) conducted a session called The Spread of Disease.

The session focused on how mathematics is used to measure the frequency and spread of diseases by using probabilities associated with the risk of infection.  

Lynsey Cross is a public engagement officer working to raise the profile of ADRC-W at local, regional and national levels to create a greater external awareness amongst the public of the work and achievements of ADRC-W.

More than 40 pupils engaged in the interactive session, exploring how hygiene can affect the spread of diseases using mathematics and glitter! A simplistic dice game demonstrated and calculated the statistics relating to the spread of the common cold.

Lynsey is instrumental in putting on a variety of engaging, interactive events for the community:

By the end of the session pupils were aware of the importance of mathematics in exploring patient/healthcare data by identifying trends and treatments. The masterclass highlighted that if you love mathematics and have an inquisitive mind, there is a job for you in health informatics.

These series of sessions are successfully developing public understanding and credibility for the data science profession, as well as raising the profile of ADRC-W and the work of the ADRN. 

Enquiries to Lynsey Cross, Public Engagement Officer, Swansea University Health Informatics

* ADRC-W is part of the Health Informatics Group at Swansea University Medical School.

Written by Lynsey Cross from ADRC-Walesand published on the ADRN blog under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-SA 4.0. Images used with permission.

Published on 10 May 2017

Page last updated: 27/07/2018