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Jared AE is an entrepreneur specialising in bringing new technology to market. He is currently working with NAAMA Studios, an innovative consumer retail brand that offers the world’s most advanced tattoo removal service.
How would you characterise your current work?
I have the pleasure of working with a passionate group of people committed to launching and growing the world’s most advanced tattoo removal service. At NAAMA, we’ve developed a breakthrough laser technology that quickly and effectively removes/fades tattoos from the skin without risk of long-term damage.
In my capacity as NAAMA’s Director, I oversee the performance and growth of the business which mostly means working with team members to deliver a 5-star experience for all customers. Though I mainly focus on the “business” side of things, I’m also a qualified laser tattoo removal technician.
How do you feel about maths?
I'm a maths lover. I started my career teaching secondary maths and continue to use it in my work today. Most days, it’s impossible for maths not to creep into my work – be it through comparing costs, calculating key performance metrics for the studio, or even working with building engineers to draft construction plans.
I’m a passionate Excel user – though very far from expert. Excel is predicated on maths and helps me establish objective, data-driven comparisons when making decisions.
What is it about your work that is mathematical?
Maths and quantitative reasoning/numeracy are present in my work on a daily basis – be it in renovation, managing finances, reviewing key performance indicators, or negotiating commercial terms. Whenever I can quantify and compare options, I do.
How do you use maths, calculation or numeracy in your work? What tools do you use to help you?
Most of the decisions we make require maths and quantitative reasoning. For example, when comparing two options we might look at the financial cost of each, the cost of our team’s time, and the probability of success.
We are currently in the process of expanding our London studio which, unto itself, is basically a maths project. From floor plans and measurements (geometry), to mechanical and electrical requirements (physics), to material costing and selection (algebra) … it’s a must. One of the contractors we work with regularly says that the best training he’s ever had was his secondary school geometry class – though he didn’t know it at the time!
Do you think maths is creative? If so, how?
Exceptionally! A lot of our work is about scenario planning. We need to consider many different factors: “supply-side factors” like internal costs of providing the tattoo removal service; “demand-side factors” like how many customers we might serve at any given time in any given location; and “macro factors” like Covid-19 and Brexit … to name a few. When we scenario plan, we’re essentially creating alternate future realities of the business – from bad outcomes to great outcomes and everything in between.
Do you use or rely on any maths that you learnt in school?
Definitely. The most common would be probability and algebra. Looking after profit and loss (P&L) for the studio is essentially an exercise in algebra, and forecasting what future performance for the studio might look like is basically an exercise in probability in that we need to make judgment calls today with imperfect information.
How would you change the school curriculum, if you had the chance? Why?
When I studied maths, the curriculum was very focused on discrete skills: solve for a variable, learn geometric properties, practise how to calculative derivates and integrals. These skills lacked context – it wasn’t clear how they would work together to solve real-world problems.
I always thought a more effective way to teach maths would be through case studies. If the curriculum were mapped against a real-world problem, it would benefit from context that would make clear why the skills were important. An example might be building a house. Surely designing and building a house over the course of an academic year would provide the necessary learning exercises to show mastery of content across geometry, algebra, and even trigonometry.
Case studies can be particularly effective because they: (1) allow for continuous learning through a single topic, rather than disjointed topics; (2) allow for differentiated learning – e.g. advanced students can go deeper into the project at their own pace; and (3) immediately answer the question “Why does this matter?”
I had a teacher who employed this case study approach to calculus, and it was the single most influential class I took before University. It exposed me to the impact that education can have on a student’s life. Not only am I still in touch with my maths teacher today, but I’ve actively sought opportunities to remain connected to education and specifically maths education since.
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