Florence Nightingale Day, December 2014

Thursday 18th December 2014, 10:00 - 15:30, Management School Building, Lancaster University

Our third Florence Nightingale Day was part of our continuing efforts to promote mathematics and statistics and especially the participation of women in those subjects. The day was aimed especially at female students in years 11, 12 and 13 but is open to male students too. It was organised by Dr Nadia Mazza and Dr James Groves, with help from colleagues and postgraduate students.

While Florence Nightingale is well-known for her medical work as a nurse, she was also a pioneer in statistics, especially in the use of visualisation of statistical data. A description of this work may be found in her biography on the MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, along with a large number of biographies of other female mathematicians.

The event comprised talks by prominent female mathematicians, a maths contest and opportunities for informal discussions over a buffet lunch and at a number of information stands. A summary of the talks and activities for the day is below and some pictures from the event may be found in the Gallery.

Talks and activities

  • 9.30-10.00: Registration
  • 10.00-10.15: Introduction
  • 10.15-11.00: Professor Caroline Series (University of Warwick), "Indra's Pearls: Geometry and Symmetry" (abstract)
  • 11.00-11.20: Refreshments
  • 11.20-12.30: Maths QUIZ!
  • 12.30-13.15: Lunch
  • 13.15-14.00: Dr Ron Knott (University of Surrey), "Numbers You Can Eat, or Why Nature Likes the Fibonacci Numbers and how they relate to your 5-a-day" (abstract)
  • 14.05-14.50: Dr Katie Steckles (Think Maths), "Maths's Greatest Unsolved Puzzles" (abstract)
  • 14.50-15.00: Quiz results and awarding of prizes
  • 15.00-15.30: Maths gallery


We are grateful to the Further Mathematics Support Programme for financial support.