(From Dominic who is a Year 11 student at Shelley School in London.)
This is a study of the representations of mathematics and mathematicians in popular culture and the ways that they influence learners’ relationships with the subject. In recent years there has been a reduction in the number of people choosing to study maths. This is accompanied by many people having difficult feelings towards the subject. Alongside these, recent years have seen an explosion of popular mathematical images from Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind to sudokus, from Runescape to Deal or No Deal. We set out to explore how people understand these images and what are their effects. We also looked at how these images and effects are connected to gender, class and race.