Professor Steve Humble, also known as Dr Maths, has received an MBE for services to education. Steve, who is a teaching fellow in PGCE Maths at Newcastle University and a freelance maths consultant, has inspired thousands of young people with his puzzles and books.
Professor Humble is committed to making maths more accessible to the masses as seen in his love and passion for the subject.
Steve has worked on a global scale by trying to advance international development, particularly in Tanzania. He has been working on a project to help change the policies of African states, to convince people that not only the rich can be talented, that there are ‘SlumSuperstars’. He has presented evidence to teachers and state officials through a series of multidimensional tests. Humble is a strong believer in opportunity, working closely with young children to show how gifted they are, and showing them their own potential. Dr Maths’ idea is that if these children and their system have belief in these ‘SlumSuperstars’ that they will become more committed to developing their natural abilities and talents.
A bit closer to home, Steve has organised many events to get children more involved in maths. Those involve working on Durham Cathedral to show Key Stage 3 children (in his opinion “the most crucial age in a child’s education”) that maths is in everything and can be fun to learn. His work aims to dispel the “bad press” associated with maths and to convince children and young adults “that maths is not as hard as it may seem.” Humble has made maths fun for children, making treasure hunts, puzzles and quizzes. His ambition is to illustrate to children how relevant the subject is in everyday life.
His hopes to help turn around the declining numbers of students who decide to study maths at A level and beyond. Steve has pointed out that these declining numbers of maths teachers and students has become of concern to the government. As a result, the government is now offering funding to be trained as a PGCE Maths teacher as well as a £25,000 tax free salary. For Steve, this funding is of great importance as he is convinced that without passionate teachers, the joy of Maths will not be passed on.
Dr. Maths was first inspired to dedicate his life to maths by the age of 8/9 by his father. Sitting daily and un-puzzling puzzles together, these experiments fuelled his belief that puzzling is at the heart of mathematics. For Steve this was a fun activity, and he wants other children to see maths through the same eyes. He has worked hard over the last 20 years to inspire people for this. He currently holds a Guinness World Record for having taught maths to the most amount of children (1001) outside the classroom. He has concentrated his efforts to convincing the general public that the fundamentals of mathematics are not about difficult formulae, but about logical ways of looking at and thinking about things.
The constant hard work over the last 20 years has led to his achievement of having won an MBE for services to education. Steve stated that he was “proud, honoured and looking forward to meeting the Queen” and that this was the “proudest moment of the last 20 years of his work”.