A powerful combination: linking maths and computer science

While French pupils spend a large amount of their school career studying maths, until recently few have gotten the chance to discover computer science. Robert Cabane, Inspector General at the French Ministry of Education says: “There are a lot of opportunities for our pupils (girls as well as boys) in computer science, maths and technology, but they don’t always consider these subjects and are often drawn to other professions, even though we have a clear shortage of students going into these fields.” Research shows that students who are strong in maths often do well in computer science, so to help pique their interest, Google developed a major partnership with the French Ministry of Education to inspire students by combining the two disciplines in a series of initiatives. For teachers, Google engineers organised a professional development day to show practical and accessible ways of integrating computer science into their maths classes. For students, Google added some computer science-related questions to the National Mathematics Olympiads – the prestigious contest which engages 21,000 French students – to give them the opportunity to try computer science out. The results were very positive and as a follow up, Google supported the MathC2+ programme – three- to five- day intensive maths courses – to integrate a day of computer science, to spark students’ interest further. Alongside businesses like Natixis, Crédit Mutuel and Casio, Google funded hundreds of course places, enabling the pupils to attend completely free of charge.

Eventually, I’d like to be an entrepreneur. I think computer science will help to bring me closer to my clients and competitors. Computing is the future!

Student participant, National Mathematics Olympiad and MathC2+ course