27 November 2015

Science Museum visitors get an insight into Essex research into healthy dairy herds

Maths Festival at the Science Museum in London

Visitors playing the interactive game created for the What's Your Angle festival. Photo courtesy of the Science Museum.

Visitors to the Science Museum in London will get an insight into some cutting-edge Essex research - by pretending to be cows.

Professor Edward Codling, from the Department of Mathematical Sciences, has devised an interactive game to show how mathematics can be used in the real world to monitor the health of cattle.

Created for the What's Your Angle festival at the Science Museum, the game involves participants wearing a cow collar while Professor Codling tracks their movements. He will then show them the tracking data and explain how mathematical techniques are used to detect which cows might be lame or unwell.

“Visitors will learn about how useful mathematics is in the real world and how it has more applications than people realise. In fact, it’s hard to think of an activity or application that doesn’t use mathematics in some way,” explained Professor Codling.

The What’s Your Angle festival aims to challenge the common perception of mathematics and show visitors how it can transform lives. Participants will also get the chance to act as undercover reporters to create a story that they can then broadcast on the live Science Museum TV.

They will be able to report on a wide range of displays from different universities which show how mathematics can be used to study ancient languages, discover archaeological remains and even improve surf skills.

Professor Codling added: “Many people are sometimes not confident about their mathematics skills so we are hoping to show them that they can still understand how mathematics is used and why it’s important in everyday life.”

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