Shrewsbury School

Laurence Jeffcoate wins the 2014 David Harrison Prize for Mathematics

Friday 9 May 2014

The 2014 David Harrison Prize for Mathematics was won by Laurence Jeffcoate (Ch UVI), with a thought-provoking and superbly presented talk entitled "Beautiful (and Ugly) Equations". He spoke about a study carried out by researchers at University College London who found that the brain reacts to beautiful equations in the same way that it responds to art and music. The most beautiful equation was found to be Euler's Identity (, which Laurence went on to prove as part of his talk.

Tom Dodd (Rb V) was a very close second (for the second year running!) with his talk about the fascinating properties of the torus. The torus is more commonly known as a doughnut or bagel, hence the quantity of crumbs generated during his practical demonstration!

The Mathematics Faculty judge the competition and commented that the standard in the final this year was as good as ever. Huge congratulations must also go to the other finalists: Huda Hasan (MSH LVI), Alex King (M IV) and Ilya Lapan (I UVI).

This annual competition is open to all year groups and takes the form of a presentation on any mathematical topic, which is given to an audience of Third and Fourth Form mathematicians.

This prize is endowed by Mr and Mrs Peter Harrison in memory of their son David, who was Head of Mathematics from 1995 to 1996, and who tragically died in the mountains of Alaska in the summer holidays of 1996.

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