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Prizes add up for First Class maths graduate

Posted Wednesday 3 March 2010

Mathematical science graduate Katie Bateman scooped two awards on graduation day as well as her First Class degree.A graduate from Kingston University had to keep a tally of prizes when she scooped a First Class degree in mathematical science and two additional awards in recognition of her number-crunching nous.

Katie Bateman, 22, is now the proud holder of an industry-recognised accolade bestowed by the Institute of Mathematics and Its Applications (IMA) and a prize commemorating  one of Kingston University's most eminent mathematicians, the late Professor John Morris.  A highly-respected member of the academic community, Professor Morris passed away in April last year after a two-year battle with cancer.

Her graduation was a day of firsts for Katie, originally from Gravesend, Kent.  She was not only celebrating getting a First Class degree, but was also the first person in her family to go to university.  "It was a big step for me to go to university - no-one in my family had gone before so my graduation was already a special day before I realised I had won the prizes as well," she said.  Walking on to the stage at the finale of the ceremony, Katie said she felt enormously proud.  "I enjoyed every moment of studying at Kingston - even though it was incredibly intense at times.  Seeing the pride on my family's faces was the best moment of all," she said.

Principal lecturer  Dr Nigel Atkins said fellow students looked up to Katie as a natural leader and she had always given 100% in her studies.  "Mathematical science is a diverse course and Katie showed her versatility by shining in the maths modules as well as those in statistics and computing," he said.

Katie's enthusiasm didn't stop with her studies.  She volunteered for the Student Ambassadors programme at Kingston University, helping out on open days and visiting schools in the local community for revision days.  In her final year, Katie focused on modules in mathematics education so it was no surprise for her lecturers to hear that she was now taking her panache for maths into teaching.  "She possesses the commanding presence and high quality communication skills which will make her as outstanding a teacher as she was student," Dr Atkins added.

Now studying for her PGCE back home in Kent, Katie is looking forward to taking her passion for maths back into the classroom.Katie is now taking the techniques she learned in the classrooms in Kingston to her PGCE which has seen her teaching on placement at the Sir Joseph Williamson's Mathematical School in Rochester.  "I found my lecturers' approach to teaching at Kingston inspirational because it was so down-to-earth.  I'm loving being back in the classroom and I'm definitely taking my Kingston experience into my own career because I know how daunting maths can be for students," Katie said.

Dean of the Faculty of Computing, Information Systems and Mathematics, Professor Tim Ellis, said the University was pleased to be able to honour the memory of Professor Morris who did so much to develop the teaching of maths at Kingston University.  "A specialist in numerical analysis, Professor Morris worked hard to develop and diversify our Kingston University courses," he said.  "Professor Morris was made Emeritus Professor just months before he passed away.  By awarding this prize to Katie and future talented mathematicians, we wanted to honour the work that we know he would have loved to have continued with his students."

Find out more about Kingston University's courses in mathematical science.

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