Laura Tuohilampi | You are a maths person
Even if you think you’re no good at maths, you’re using it to solve problems all the time.
There are two types of people in the world, 'maths people' and those who quickly avert their eyes when numbers are merely mentioned in conversation. Many people who don’t see themselves as a maths person have lost trust in their own thinking even with the most simple numbers. But this hasn’t always been the case, in fact we all could have been maths people – but our tricky relationship with maths was formed all the way back at school. So why do so many people have such a strong dislike of maths? And more than that – what can be done to stop this aversion where it starts – in the classroom?
Whether we like maths or not, we’re stuck with it, whether it be identifying the fastest route on a road trip, calculating the cheapest deal at the supermarket or predicting the odds of winning. So why not get comfortable with numbers and use maths to our advantage?
In ten minutes, or roughly the amount of time it takes to multiply 3,467 and 8,467 in your head, mathematician Laura Tuohilampi will flip the script on our collective fear of maths.
ABOUT 10 MINUTE GENIUS
In this sprawling digital age where a universe of information is accessible within seconds, it's easy to be paralysed by the simple question of where to begin.
Introducing: Ten Minute Genius, a series of short talks designed to create a space in which you can engage with new ideas. We have curated a collection of material scientists, philosophers and maths lovers to help you make some sense of this chaotic information vortex. And because you’re busy, all we ask of you is just ten minutes.
Dr Laura Tuohilampi is a mathematician and mathematics education researcher at UNSW Sydney, and an in-service teacher trainer and the founder of Math Hunger and Maths for Humans. Passionate about shifting mindsets to view maths as positive, engaging and achievable, her work explores practices that innovate and inspire traditional teaching methods to evolve with students’ learning habits. She also goes by Laura the Maths Buster, and has extensive expertise in making people fall in love with maths. She worked professionally as a mathematics education influencer, postdoc researcher and a lecturer who makes you see maths in a way you didn't even know existed. Her research goals are centred around ensuring any audience understands the "why" in learning mathematical skills, by making mathematics approachable, exciting and an accessible integral life skill.