WHETHER it is crunching numbers or solving equations, Springfield Lakes' Kartik Illuri has a real knack for maths.
The St Peters Lutheran College Year 9 student was among 40 budding mathematicians to participate in the University of Southern Queensland's (USQ) Mathematics Enrichment Program in Springfield this year.
The program is designed to improve mathematical problem solving skills in high school students who have an aptitude for mathematics beyond what is offered in the standard school curriculum.
More than 500 students have taken part in the program since it started in 2007, with participants challenged to solve various complex problems using mathematics.
The final session of the year was held last Thursday with students learning about oscillations and waves.
"The program was really fun," Kartik, 14, said.
"It showed us how mathematics can help us better understand the world around us.
"Since I was young, I have had a strong interest in maths, which has grown over the past few years.
"This program has not only helped further develop my mathematical understanding, but it has opened my mind to how maths can be applied to real life situations in the future.
"I would recommend the program to any student who enjoys or excels at maths."
Program facilitator Associate Professor Linda Galligan said the program aimed to foster students' interest in maths and challenge them further.
"Maths skills are critical to prepare students for jobs of the future, but the number of students dropping out of the higher levels of mathematics in senior high school is alarming," Associate Professor Galligan said.
"We not only want to encourage more students to become engaged in maths, but we also want to help nurture their love for maths so they don't lose interest and can achieve their full potential.
"The students in the program get really excited when they are pushed beyond their comfort zone and allowed to stretch their mathematical thinking."
To learn more about the program, visit www.usq.edu.au/study/faculty-events/2018/03/maths-enrichment-program.