Joining the man who explains equations

05 Jun 2019

Thanks to a bursary from the East Kent alumni group, Oxford undergraduate Joe Double (St Hugh’s, 2015) was able to spend the summer of 2018 working with his Oxford tutor, Dr Tom Crawford (tomrocksmaths.com), to produce pieces explaining complex mathematical topics to a general audience. 

OUS East Kent (OUSEK) is just one of a number of alumni groups to offer student bursaries. Every year they award several grants, of up to £750 each, to Oxford undergraduates from the East Kent region to assist with the cost of degree-related long vacation projects such as these. ‘Without the help of the OUS East Kent group, I couldn’t have taken up this opportunity,’ says Joe. ‘With their grant’s help, I was able to afford to live in Oxford through a large part of the summer, allowing me to work in close contact with my tutor and use his studio for creating the videos and audio pieces I worked on.’

Joe certainly made the most of his opportunity, producing a variety of pieces that prove maths isn’t boring. In Take me to your Chalkboard, Joe speaks to philosopher Professor Adrian Moore to find out if alien maths is different from ours. He produced an audio piece about his tutor’s latest mathematical tattoo; and in his main video project, Joe asks Would Alien (Non-Euclidean) Geometry Break Our Brains? Perhaps not a typical summer vacation project – but as Joe explains, ‘the OUSEK grant can be put to use far more flexibly than those from bigger schemes, so I recommend applying if you have an idea for a project for your time at Oxford which is on the unusual side!’

In 2018 OUS East Kent also awarded bursaries to support placements at the Louvre in Paris and the Rene Magritte Museum in Brussels. They enabled an ordinand to experience the ecclesiastical landscape of Romania and funded a trip to Lamledra House in Cornwall.

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