UCD Maths Workshop 2016 (posted on 4/02/2016)

School of Mathematics and Statistics is running two hands-on interactive workshops entitled "The Mathematics of Juggling" and "Pendulum Theory and Swinging Bananas" as part of UCD Science workshop series for TY, 5th and 6th year students.

UCD Mathematics and Juggling are both ancient disciplines and until recently they had no noticeable connections. At the end of the 20th century mathematicians and jugglers developed formulae for describing complex juggling patterns. Jugglers were able to use the notation to develop new ways of juggling. Mathematicians also gained a new type of problem; trying to compute a formula for the number of possible juggling patterns with a given number of balls. In workshop 1, the history of juggling and its mathematical applications will be discussed and demonstrated by our resident mathematician and juggler Dr Carl Bracken.

The beauty of simple harmonic motion and its mathematical properties will be illustrated in workshop 2, with use of both a single and double pendulum. Theory and simulations will be used to trace and explain the evolution of the system by Dr Conor Sweeney. This will be compared and contrasted with the behaviour of a much cruder pendulum built from just fruit and string - the swinging banana!

The workshop is now fully booked out; those interested could register on the waitlist via https://myucd.ucd.ie/events/index.do