Ask the Expert – How do expert insights talk work?

The aim of the Expert Insights theme is for speakers to give students access to knowledge that they wouldn’t get elsewhere, providing students with a crash course in a specific area. These talks are useful for smaller, focused student groups (e.g. A-level students) but be sure to speak to the teacher about how to pitch your talk at the right level depending on the students’ ages and abilities.

Dr Nira Chamberlain, President, IMA & Visiting Fellow, Loughborough University Mathematical Sciences Department

Dr Nira Chamberlain is one of the UK’s leading professional mathematicians and President of the Institute of Mathematics and its Application. In his talks, Nira discusses mathematics in real life and its application. His talks are interactive and he welcomes students to engage with mathematical problems. He uses interesting examples to help bring mathematics to life, such as: ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’ and ‘Saving Aston Villa using Mathematical Modelling.’ Through his talks Nira shows the power of mathematics and what makes a good mathematician. Staff feedback is consistently positive, “students have expressed that they previously did not consider mathematics as a career however are considering it now.”

Recommended outline for an expert insights talk

  1. What is your area of expertise and what in your background might help students understand or contextualise the subject (links to what they have seen in the news, well-known companies etc.)?
  2. Why is it important now? How does it link to current affairs or issues?
  3. What would be essential basic concepts or knowledge of this subject that you believe students might not be hearing elsewhere such as important issues to keep in mind, if they are serious about understanding it?
  4. If students are interested in pursuing it as a career or subject further, depending on their age, what are some useful insider tips on developing their own understanding?


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