EPQ on Maths? Watch

LaurenLovesMaths
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Hi everyone,

I'm thinking about doing an EPQ and would like to do it on maths. The issue is choosing a question to go off - it has to be a debatable and something I can easily write 6000 words on. Any ideas?

Thank you ☺️
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Indeterminate
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(Original post by LaurenLovesMaths)
Hi everyone,

I'm thinking about doing an EPQ and would like to do it on maths. The issue is choosing a question to go off - it has to be a debatable and something I can easily write 6000 words on. Any ideas?

Thank you ☺️
Well, what topics do you like?

Nice username btw!
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LaurenLovesMaths
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(Original post by Indeterminate)
Well, what topics do you like?

Nice username btw!
Haha thank you! Algebra is normally my favourite, but real life applications with geometry and mechanics are also very interesting!
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KingAuthor
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I watched a programme on the BBC about mathematics and how it was used to improve industry and invent the first ever computers. Maybe you can write about the history of mathematical uses in industry

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JPencil
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Tao vs Pi: The smackdown!

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Zacken
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(Original post by LaurenLovesMaths)
Hi everyone,

I'm thinking about doing an EPQ and would like to do it on maths. The issue is choosing a question to go off - it has to be a debatable and something I can easily write 6000 words on. Any ideas?

Thank you ☺️
When you say algebra, do you mean proper algebra like groups, rings, fields, etc... or do you mean elementary algebra like solving for 'x', etc...?
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Gome44
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(Original post by JPencil)
Tao vs Pi: The smackdown!

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I assume you mean Tau, but I would love to see Terence Tao vs pi
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LaurenLovesMaths
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(Original post by Zacken)
When you say algebra, do you mean proper algebra like groups, rings, fields, etc... or do you mean elementary algebra like solving for 'x', etc...?
A bit of both really
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LaurenLovesMaths
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Thanks everyone for your ideas so far!
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JPencil
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Terrance Tao vs P(i)ythagoras?
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LaurenLovesMaths
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I heard a good idea - to do it on whether maths was invented or discovered, I just wouldn't have any arguments for or against! Any ideas on that one?
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FireGarden
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(Original post by LaurenLovesMaths)
I heard a good idea - to do it on whether maths was invented or discovered, I just wouldn't have any arguments for or against! Any ideas on that one?
Read about the philosophy of mathematics. In particular, the schools of Platonism, Logicism, Formalism, Intuitionism/Constructivism, and Finitism. These are all groupings of viewpoints on what it means to be doing mathematics, and what we consider mathematical objects to "be".

Platonism is the point of view that mathematics is the study of objects which really do exist - maths is only discovered.

Formalism is the view that its all just a syntactical game with symbols - maths is only invented.

The others are less extreme in the invented/discovered sense, but theyre interesting to think about.
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JPencil
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(Original post by LaurenLovesMaths)
I heard a good idea - to do it on whether maths was invented or discovered, I just wouldn't have any arguments for or against! Any ideas on that one?
Invented:
Different bases (Would we use base 12 if we had 12 fingers)
Discovered:
Fibonacci spirals in nature
Distribution of flower petals (Fibonacci again)
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FireGarden
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(Original post by JPencil)
Invented:
Different bases (Would we use base 12 if we had 12 fingers)
Discovered:
Fibonacci spirals in nature
Distribution of flower petals (Fibonacci again)
Hmm. I've never been too convinced about that. Up until about the 70's most units in the UK were centred around 12, including money. The main reason being divisibility - 12 divides into halves, thirds and quarters easily. I somewhat suspect conversion to metric units wouldn't have happened without calculators becoming widespread.

Consider also that your fingers (excl. thumb) are themselves divided into 12 pieces.
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LaurenLovesMaths
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Thank you both, those are very good ideas!
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Mpagtches
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Don't feel pressured to do an 'arts' take on maths if you don't want to.
It's my bug bear with the EPQ that it's done in such a way that it almost makes it seem bold or unusual to research a science subject, when in reality people write dissertations on maths and science subjects all the time at universities.

I did an EPQ on a maths subject and found that instead of doing the usual essay, I could produce an 'artefact' and then write a 'popular press' article/summary about it for a non-specialist audience (the exam board was AQA).
It's definitely possible to score highly taking this approach.
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LaurenLovesMaths
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(Original post by Mpagtches)
Don't feel pressured to do an 'arts' take on maths if you don't want to.
It's my bug bear with the EPQ that it's done in such a way that it almost makes it seem bold or unusual to research a science subject, when in reality people write dissertations on maths and science subjects all the time at universities.

I did an EPQ on a maths subject and found that instead of doing the usual essay, I could produce an 'artefact' and then write a 'popular press' article/summary about it for a non-specialist audience (the exam board was AQA).
It's definitely possible to score highly taking this approach.
That's a good idea, although my school will only let us do the dissertation one thanks anyway!
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16Characters....
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How about an area of maths applied in real life, allowing you to discuss its effectiveness. This is what I did for mine and was able to score highly.
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LaurenLovesMaths
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(Original post by 16Characters....)
How about an area of maths applied in real life, allowing you to discuss its effectiveness. This is what I did for mine and was able to score highly.
The effectiveness is a good idea! Thank you
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