Brain Imaging by Numbers: A Wycombe Abbey Maths Society and School Partnership Programme Lecture

Dr Yolanda Ohene talks about her interdisciplinary research into Alzheimer’s Disease diagnosis.

Wycombe Abbey Maths Society had the pleasure of welcoming Dr Yolanda Ohene, a postgraduate researcher at The University of Manchester, to talk about her research which seeks to optimise the ability of MRI scanners to detect early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr Ohene traced her academic journey from an A Level student, who wasn’t really sure what she wanted to do in life, through her initial studies for a Physics degree at Imperial College before now finding her niche in medical research. In tracing her life story, she stressed the way in which the sciences are interconnected. The traditional divide between Biology, Chemistry and Physics, for example, is becoming blurred and her research combines elements of all these disciplines, as well as Maths, Engineering and Computer Science.

The Society was particularly pleased that the talk was also attended by pupils from our network of partner schools with a large cohort of Year 11 and Year 12 scientists coming from Wallingford School. Some of their pupils and teachers eloquently summed up some of the main themes from the talk:

“I found the talk really interesting because it showed real-world applications for the subjects I study and showed us that we don’t have to have our full career mapped out.”

“I found the talk about MRI technology insightful as it highlighted the different career paths you can go down from studying a Mathematics or Physics degree. Dr Yolanda Ohene showed to us that it’s not doctors who create the new cures or treatments but increasingly those from a more mathematical background.”

“The talk provided the Wallingford students with a new opportunity to hear about the applications of

Mathematics and reassured them that life is full of crossroads – you don’t need to make all of the decisions at age 17! However, a degree in STEM is a great place to start.”

Mrs Hughes (teacher at Wallingford School) spoke in general terms about the benefits of attending school partnership events at Wycombe Abbey.

“Again, this is a fantastic opportunity for our students to think about how different STEM disciplines work together in the real world, as well as an interesting insight into career pathways and crossroads. This talk, and the lecture last term from Nira Chamberlain, have had a significant impact on our young people, and would not have been possible without Wycombe Abbey’s partnership programme. We are looking forward to attending more in the future!”

We too are looking forward to more similar talks, and hope that more schools in the local community will be able to join us to hear from speakers as entertaining, insightful and inspirational as Dr Ohene.

If teachers at local schools are interested to find out more about Wycombe Abbey’s partnership programme within STEM subjects, which includes both lectures and support for admissions tests they are invited to contact me by emailing [email protected]

Mr David Vaccaro
Director of Learning and Innovation

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