Maths awareness

Apr 2015
The spiral shapes in sunflowers follow the fibernecci sequence
The spiral shapes in sunflowers follow the Fibonacci sequence.

In America mathematics awareness month is celebrated in April and we thought we'd join in this year!

Kumon students have a lot to celebrate as so many of them are grasping mathematical concepts far ahead of what is expected of them at school, because of their hard work and dedication to the subject.

This is fantastic news for a number of reasons, not least because the Department for Education have predicted that more than 7 million jobs in the UK will be in science-based industries by 2030, and engineering enterprises already employ more than 5.4 million people.

So, to mark this mathematical month, here are a few interesting maths-related facts:

  • A fibonacci sequence is a series of numbers where the next number is found by adding up the two numbers before it, for example: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21. This number sequence appears in nature quite a lot – the spiral shapes in sunflowers follow this pattern.

  • If you wrote out all the numbers between one and 1,000 in words, the letter 'A', only appears in the word thousand.
  • Number seven is the most popular 'favourite number' (nearly 10% of those asked in a recent survey named it as their favourite, the next popular was three).
  • The 'golden ratio' (phi) is the number 1.618; it is believed that shapes using this ratio are more appealing. The golden ratio is found when a line is divided into two parts, where the longer part divided by the smaller part is equal to the whole length divided by the longer part. The golden ratio can be found in buildings and artwork throughout history such as the Parthenon in Greece, Stonehenge and seemingly if you draw a rectangle around the face of Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, the ratio of the height to width of that rectangle is equal to the golden ratio (though it is not known if Leonardo knowingly used this ratio).
  • If you multiply 1089 x 9 you get 9801 (the reverse number).

  • Zero is the only number which can't be represented in Roman numerals.