Malcolm McLean

ACG Parnell College
Search and Rescue Mathematics
Massey University


Malcolm McLean is a secondary trained teacher. He has been teaching mathematics for seventeen years. Malcolm is from England, where he has done most of his teaching.  He has taught in New Zealand for the past six years.

During his two term Endeavour Teacher Fellowship, Malcolm was hosted by Massey University, Institute of Information and Mathematical Sciences (IIMS). His project was ‘Search and Rescue and other applications of Mathematics.’ Malcolm studied how mathematics can be used to search for missing objects at sea, such as vessels in distress, and aid rescuers in their recovery. He also researched the stricken cargo ship Rena and how mathematics can be used to forecast the path of the fallen cargo containers.

Malcolm increased his knowledge and understanding of vectors and learnt how to write computer programs in ‘Matlab’ that enabled him to input data, perform simulations and produce graphs of the outcomes. He also explored similar problems such as ants and bees foraging for food and forward passes in rugby. Malcolm also became proficient at using latex for producing high-quality, professional written presentations.

Malcolm is grateful to Massey University for hosting him and the excellent support he has received from the staff there. He has had a great learning experience and is excited about sharing what he has learned and including it in his teaching.

Malcolm also attended an Enhancing Leadership course held at University of Otago, Dunedin. During the week long course, he gained an in-depth comprehension of leadership and it challenged him to think about his own leadership style and what he needed to work on to make him a better leader in his work environment.