Maths students get formula down to a tea

Posted by ap507 at Mar 25, 2014 11:55 AM |
University of Leicester maths students’ equation equals a perfect builders’ brew

Undergraduates from the Department of Mathematics have risen to the challenge set for them by building company Jelson Homes to work out the precise formula for the perfect cuppa for their builders.

Having undertaken their own independent research, ten groups of students presented their research, findings and conclusions to Jelson recently in an X-factor style competition.

The final formula for the perfect builders’ brew is detailed as follows:

Perfect cuppa: 2B + 30R + E(m + q + t) + 10W
  • 2B = 2 minutes of brewing time
  • 30R = 30 seconds of resting time
  • E(m+q+t) = big mug, a good quality tea bag and a treat
  • 10W = 10ml milk

The students’ tutor, Dr Clive Rix, said: “The Business Applications of Mathematics module gives students real projects supplied by external organisations that are of current interest. Students work on these in groups, research the topic, write reports on their findings and present them to the sponsoring organisations – all skills employers tell us they regard as important."

Olivia Heath from the winning team of students said: "We're really passionate about tea so the project immediately engaged us. As part of our research, we looked at many factors including temperature, strength and taste as well as the amount of milk to add. I think it's great that we're offered the opportunity to do modules like this within a maths degree. It gives us the chance to practice skills that mathematicians can sometimes lack and I think we've all improved our presenting and marketing.”

The winning team consisted of: Dimosthenis Christopoulos, 26, from Greece; Jess Durant, 20, from Somerset; Olivia Heath, 19, from Hertfordshire and Villy Nika, 20, from Greece.