12 October 2012

Maths support for all

Solomon Ioannou and Ioana Olan

The Maths Drop-in Centre is now open for business at the University, offering help and advice to local companies, students and staff on a range of maths problems.

Providing a one-stop-shop for any maths issues, the service is part of an on-going scheme by the Department of Mathematical Sciences to improve the employability of students and to allow local businesses to tap into local mathematics expertise.

The new helpdesk, run by trained student advisors, will offer support to businesses and the University community on maths issues on all levels.

Local businesses have already tapped into the mathematical expertise at Essex via a number of collaborations which have helped solve issues including everything from helping improve operational procedures at the Port of Felixstowe and evaluating medical data for NHS Trusts to using mathematical modelling to detect early signs of ill-health in dairy cows.

Businesses and the wider community can make an initial inquiry to the helpdesk for free. If the advisors can help with the issue but it will require a lot of staff time it can be dealt with as a consultancy project. All questions will remain confidential and could range from everything from being able to support a parent giving help to their child for homework up to solving a complex logistical issue for a transport company.

“The Drop-in Centre also provides great work placement opportunities for our students,” explained Head of the Department of Mathematical Sciences Dr Abdel Salhi. “It gives students the chance to get real work experience, looking at real issues in the business world. For the business community, this initiative gives them the chance to make the most of the mathematical expertise on their doorstep.”

To contact the Maths Drop-in Centre e-mail: mathshelpdesk@essex.ac.uk.

Ends

For more information please contact the University of Essex Communications Office on 01206 872400 or e-mail: comms@essex.ac.uk.

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