Politics

Kate Plummer

Jan 04, 2023

content.jwplatform.com

Rishi Sunak wants everyone to do maths until they are 18. Good grief.

In lines briefed to journalists ahead of his first 2023 speech, which will also cover other issues including threats to the NHS, the PM is expected to say the UK must "reimagine our approach to numeracy".

"In a world where data is everywhere and statistics underpin every job, our children's jobs will require more analytical skills than ever before," he will say.

"And letting our children out into the world without those skills, is letting our children down".

It shows a move away from Tory populism, we'll give him that, because maths isn't exactly people's favourite subject at schools...

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But people thought it was an example of tidying the deckchairs on the Titanic and were not thrilled with the policy when it was first reported.

With the news in mind we thought we'd take a look at these five A-Level maths questions so we can all see just how numerate we really are.

#### Questions

1. A student argues that when a rational number is multiplied by an irrational number the result will always be an irrational number.

Identify the rational number for which the studentâ€™s argument is not true.

2. An open-topped fish tank is to be made for an aquarium. It will have a square horizontal base, rectangular vertical sides and a volume of 60 m3 The materials cost: â€¢ Â£15 per m2 for the base â€¢ Â£8 per m2 for the sides.

Modelling the sides and base of the fish tank as laminae, use calculus to find the height of the tank for which the overall cost of the materials has its minimum value

3. Sam goes on a diet. He assumes that his mass, m kg after t days, decreases at a rate that is inversely proportional to the cube root of his mass.

Construct a differential equation involving m , t and a positive constant k to model this situation.

4. Explain why Samâ€™s assumption may not be appropriate.

5. A single force of magnitude 4 newtons acts on a particle of mass 50 grams. Find the magnitude of the acceleration of the particle.

#### Answers

1. 0

2. 3.75m

3. dm/dt = -k/3âˆšm

4. Samâ€™s mass is unlikely to follow this model all the time, when he eats his mass will go up.

5. 80 m s-2

Yeah, maths isn't easy.

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