Creative maths

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Don’t yawn your way through maths class. This cool subject is making big moves in the creative world. Get amongst it!

After he finished high school, Patrick Brimmer took a gamble on his career goal. “I was good at maths, so I went for a degree with the aim of becoming a sports price trader.”

With his Bachelor of Mathematics and Finance from the University of Technology Sydney under his belt, Patrick moved into the gambling industry as a game designer for International

Gaming Technology (IGT) on their fruit machines (‘pokies’). He says pokies are basically big maths equations involving polynomials and complex formulas: “It’s a creative role where you deliver new and exciting ideas.”

Now a product marketing manager for IGT, he cites maths as the key to his career: “The smarter you are with maths in my business, the more innovative you can be when building new games.”

Maths skills are essential to creative roles in industries such as entertainment, fashion and design, and are becoming more necessary as these industries grow in the digital world.

Simulation artists and animators create visual effects in movies, TV and games, using maths to express how objects move, interact or even explode. “It’s a role based on maths, programming and artistic skills,” says Bernardo Iraci, Lead 3D Artist for Melbourne startup LithodomosVR.

LithodomosVR re-creates ancient sites in Paris, Rome and Athens for virtual reality tours. Bernardo works with an archaeological team when he’s making the 3D animations, to ensure the user experiences are historically accurate.

As new digital technologies like VR, the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence develop, creative industries demand more maths-savvy graduates. One such company is Procept, based in Victoria, which helps people design, develop and manufacture new IoT and wearable medical device products.

“Maths skills are used at each level of the business,” says co-founder Adrian Crouch. “Any role where critical thinking and creative problem-solving are important, can benefit from the structured thinking maths gives you.”

– Ben Skuse

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