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Department of Computer Science and Technology

What maths do we need for a new generation of AI and Data Science workers?

In preparation for departure to Ethiopia, Helen and I visited the team at the Cambridge Mathematics project - an organisation rethinking support for curriculum design in mathematics. They have spent years analysing the research into mathematical learning, and have created a framework to understand how one concept leads to another in learner progression.

They have work in progress on how to teach the basic principles of randomness and probability that underpin all engineering of AI systems and data science. In our own work with African colleagues, we look forward to understanding better how these principles are taught to the undergraduates and high school students who will be the inventors of AI in the next generation.

The Cambridge Mathematics team already work with curriculum designers and educators throughout the world. Alongside many other collaborators, Director Lynne McClure has worked with AIMSSEC - the School Enrichment Scheme of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences. Many of the friends who have inspired and advised us have themselves been inspired by their experiences teaching at AIMS, including David MacKay, David Spiegelhalter, and Marc Deisenroth. 

In the course of our project, we hope to use the Cambridge Maths Framework to better understand how principles of probabilistic reasoning and computation can be more effectively taught in a maths and computing curriculum, perhaps drawing on our own plans for more accessible probabilistic programming languages.