**By Elizabeth Allen (PR Officer – Marketing)**

Young mathematicians from across the UK battled it out in the University of Lincoln’s annual mathematics challenge, which is designed to test the mathematical thinking of GCSE and A Level pupils.

The Lincoln Mathematics Challenge 2017 was won by Melissa Quail, from Longsands Academy in St Neots, Cambridgeshire, who submitted perfect solutions to each of the problems presented by the challenge. Melissa attended an awards ceremony at the University of Lincoln, where she was presented with a prize of £100 Amazon vouchers.Joint second and third prizes were won by John Bamford, of Bilborough College in Nottingham, and Ricky Li and Firry Yang, both from Harrow School in Middlesex.

The challenge invited pre-university school pupils to test their mathematical skills by considering six different problems. The challenge was led by Dr Evgeny Khukhro, Senior Lecturer in the University of Lincoln’s School of Mathematics & Physics.

Dr Khukhro said: *“We were absolutely delighted with the response to Mathematics Challenge 2017. It is an annual competition which encourages school pupils to consider inventive solutions to thought-provoking problems, and the submissions we received this year were of an excellent standard. We congratulate all of our winners.”*

Dr Khukhro presented Melissa’s first place prize at a ceremony ahead of the School of Mathematics & Physics’ inaugural Charlotte Scott Lecture.

The lecture, named after the pioneer who became the first British woman to obtain a doctorate in mathematics, will be an annual event delivered by a leading international female mathematician.

This year’s talk was given by Professor Natasha Maurits from the University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands, who is renowned for her work in clinical neuro-engineering.

Professor Maurits’ talk, *Patients in Numbers*, offered a fascinating insight into the relationship between mathematics and medicine. Professor Maurits explained why it is common for doctors to consider their patients in numbers and why this practice can be useful. Using examples of her own pioneering research in neurology, she demonstrated how this method can be supported and further improved with the help of mathematics.

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