The Yorkshire Branch of the Mathematical Association (YBMA) was founded in 1920. Since that time, the YBMA has set out to provide opportunities for all those who teach mathematics to meet, to discuss, to investigate, and to gain knowledge and expertise in mathematics, and also in mathematics teaching, learning and examining. The aim of providing a free and independent forum for such activities is still valid today.
In its earliest days, meetings were held three times each year, always on Saturdays, presumably because members travelled in surprisingly large numbers from across the whole of Yorkshire to attend. Now that there are other branches of the Mathematical Association in Yorkshire, the YBMA draws its membership from a more limited area, with meetings held in West and North Yorkshire. In the last thirty or so years, the branch has met at least six times each year, with a mixture of Saturday and weekday evening meetings, in an attempt to cater for members’ preferences.
Originally, the YBMA regularly published reports and summaries of the sessions in booklet form, and from these we know that syllabus content and examination style and questions were favourite topics for consideration. Nowadays, there seems to be a much wider variety of topics of interest and concern to those who teach mathematics. In recent years, some meetings have been about matters of day-to-day concern, such as using new computer software in the classroom, new developments in GCSE curriculum and assessment, and the latest government proposals and jargon. Other meetings have been about broadening our horizons, such as the mathematics of Bronze Age burial domes, of bell-ringing, of tennis, of stamps, of knots, and of art. Yet other meetings have been more active, such as producing window decorations, paper folding, and using embroidery. There is always something for all teachers of mathematics in the meetings of the YMBA.
The majority of our meetings this year are held at the University of Leeds in the School of Mathematics, Room Mall 1. The university is well signed from all major routes into Leeds. For internet maps and satellite navigation the postcode is LS2 9JT. The best entrance to use if travelling by car is the one located on the A660 (Woodhouse Lane). Enter the campus immediately next to the Parkinson Building (the large white building with a tower) and follow the road round to the left past the entrance barrier (which is left open in the evenings and at weekends). Shortly after a speed bump you follow the road into a left turn. After 100m the road bears right and after a further 50m downhill you can turn right under the ‘building on stilts’ where you may park. Alternative parking is available beyond the ‘building on stilts’. Follow the university signs for the Edward Boyle Library. The entrance to the School of Maths is next to the library. Directions are available on the School of Maths website http://www.maths.leeds.ac.uk.
Contact: Alan Slomson