How would you like to win a million dollars? Tune into one of the events taking place during the TechFest Festival of STEM this year and you might just find out.

A look at the 7 Million-Dollar Maths Equations, on November 18 at 7pm, is just one of the events taking place during the festival which has gone online for the first time. In it, Tom Rocks Maths talks through the seven greatest unsolved problems in mathematics, each worth a million dollars, and what you might need to know if you want to solve them.

Continuing on the theme of maths, on November 19 at 7pm, Wamberto Weber Vasconcelos, of the University of Aberdeen will discuss Algorithms: What You Need To Know About Them. Algorithms are part of everyday life whether in recommending products or driving autonomous vehicles. The live session, which is followed by a Q&A will look at the historic and technical perspective on algorithms and address social and ethical issues.

Booking is open now for both events which are part of the TechFest Goes Digital public programme.

“Maths is the most rock ‘n’ roll subject you learn at school, and they don’t even tell you!” said Dr Tom Crawford, aka Tom Rocks Maths. “I hope these events will help people to see maths in a different light and appreciate just how fascinating - and fun - it can be.”

The annual festival is aiming to be the biggest and most ambitious digital science festival in Scotland this year. Thanks to the digital format it has also gone global, with audiences, including school groups tuning in from countries around the world.

With an exciting and eclectic mix of more than 30 events taking place over a three-week period, the festival has two main strands - the traditional public programme and a programme for schools.

Supported by joint principal sponsors bp and Shell and also sponsored by Equinor, Ithaca Energy, SBRC, The Data Lab and supported by RockRose Energy, the celebration of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) usually runs for three weeks in September, with events taking place in venues across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.

This year, rather than cancel the festival due to current events, organisers not only decided to go ahead with a 2020 event but to make it wider ranging than ever before.

The mix includes both live and pre-recorded events delivered via Zoom, Facebook, LinkedIn and through interactive activities.

Live events in the public programme of afternoon, evening and weekend sessions included talks on deep sea genetics and marine plastic pollution, human evolution according to brain size, sleep management and the development of good sleep habits.

A schools programme will bring science-based activities directly into the classroom with a variety of activities, video conferences, talks, and virtual events with partners including Edinburgh Zoo and the Red Cross in collaboration with Skills Development Scotland TechFest’s new programme collaborator.

The highly popular family days will also returned in digital format, jam packed with fun and STEM-inspired activities which the whole family can enjoy.

The festival began on November 5 and will continue until November 25. Admission to all events is free. For more information and to book, visit the TechFest website at

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