What it's all about

Ask a mathematician, and they will tell you how astoundingly beautiful, profoundly rich, and incredibly exciting the world of mathematics is. If you’re fortunate enough to get beyond the facts and formulae taught in school you can start to see just what a vital role maths plays in the world around us. From patterns in nature and how animals behave in it, to the encryption underpinning modern communication technology and the big data driving decision-making and change, mathematics never ceases to amaze.

SAMI is a charity based in the UK that has been working around the world to help foster a love and appreciation of maths, and its role in society. They have teamed up with the inspiring Harris Westminster Sixth Form School to host a maths camp is week-long event that brings together students, teachers, lecturers and maths enthusiasts from all walks of life, in shared exploration and discovery of ideas which stretch far beyond the traditional school curriculum. It is also an opportunity to reach out and help those who otherwise might not get such experiences in life.

Camp Themes


codebreakingThe ways in which we communicate has changed slowly evolved over time and then rapidly within recent years. One thing  that has remained constant however is the need to keep messages secret and secure. From the classic Caesar and Vigenère ciphers, to the modern methods of RSA encryption that aim to secure the internet secure, we explore how mathematics is used to achieve these goals.  Simon Singh will be giving a talk with an actual Enigma machine.


triangleA chance to play and explore the maths behind games such as Dobble and Set and see how the underlying structures are connected in an interesting way. Discover new types of Geometry with Professor Balazs Szendroi from Oxford University


simulationModelling plays a huge role in trying to understand the world around us. From the flocking and swarming patterns seen in nature, to the spread of viruses and viral videos on social media, this theme explores the mathematics behind some of the most interesting real-world phenomena.  Professor Richard Craster of Imperial College will give a lecture on modelling fluid dynamics and Professor Bruce Hobbs from Edinburgh University will give insights into modelling in Geophysics.


statisticsWhy is data so important and how can we start to use it to its full potential? This theme is a chance to explore the vast amounts of information we collect, ponder how big data should be used in society, and model data with cutting edge R-Instat software.   

Number Theory

simulationThis theme will tie together ideas from many branches of mathematics. There will be discussions of chaos theory and insights into quantum theory. Highlights include the magic of multiplication tables from Tony Gardiner, an introduction to logic from Professor Alexander Paseau of Oxford Univeristy, and number theory insights and formal proofs using a programming language from Professor Kevin Buzzard of Imperial College.


Harris Westminster Sixth Form,

Steel House

11 Tothill Street





Who are SAMI?

SAMI stands for ‘Supporting African Maths Initiatives’ and is a UK-based charity. SAMI was founded in 2013 as a means to support education and outreach projects across Africa and has helped  to run maths camps in Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana and Tanzania. You can find lots more about the charity and current projects at our website: https://samicharity.co.uk

What will SAMI do with the money raised from the maths camp?

SAMI is running the camp on an entirely voluntary basis, so all proceeds will go directly to projects in Kenya, Ghana, Ethiopia and Tanzania such as maths camps and maths clubs.

What will a typical day look like at the SAMI maths camp?

Each day will be different with new activities and ideas to consider. There will be some common structure; each day will include welcome puzzles as students arrive, practical sessions, card games and tricks and a guest lecture.

What is the timetable for each day?

The camp will run from 10am to 4.30pm each day, with registration, games and puzzles from 9am. Lunch is from 12.30 – 13.15

Do I need to be good at maths to come?

No. There is no entry requirement, we are just looking for students who have a keen interest in maths and would like to know more about it.

What age range is the camp for?

Students in Year 12 (roughly age 16 – 17).

How many students will there be at the camp?

We have space for up to 60 students.

If I have come before, will there be new things to learn?

Absolutely. Almost all the material will be new, and any themes studied before will be approached in a new way.

Can I attend for any number of days?

No, it will be an immersive mathematical experience where concepts learnt early in the week will be built on towards the end.

Do I need to bring anything with me?

A lively curiosity, a calculator and a laptop if you have one.  Pens, paper and any other materials needed are provided.

Is lunch provided?

You are invited to bring a packed lunch and we will provide space inside at lunchtime, or you are welcome to stretch your legs and explore all the cafes and parks in the surrounding area of Westminster.

Contact us

Any other questions? Feel free to contact us using the form below.