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The JVenn Children's Writing Competition

Posted 17th April 2018
by John

Famous people in Hull: John Venn
By Amelia Grace

Hey guys!! So today’s post is going to be all about John Venn, a Hull born mathematician who came up with the ingenious idea of the Venn diagram. The Venn diagram is made up of 3 circles which all overlap in the middle so that you can group pieces of information together. John Venn’s achievements don’t end there though – he was also involved in the Anglican Church, he wrote several books and he later became a lecturer at Cambridge University. In today’s post, I’m going to be educating you more about one of the best mathematicians to ever live.
John Venn was born on 4th August 1834 to his parents, Martha Sykes and Reverend Henry Venn who was part of the Anglican Clergy. He went on to study at Gonville and Caius College at Cambridge University where he was awarded a degree in mathematics in 1857. Towards the end of the 1850s, John Venn was ordained as a priest for the Church of England and took part in religious work for a short time before he returned to Caius. Eventually, he resigned from the clergy during the 1880s but still continued to commit time to be a member of the Church.
In 1866, Venn published a book called ‘The Logic Of Chance’, which explored the frequency theory of probability and how often something is predicted to happen despite conflicting “educated” assumptions. Venn continued on to expand fellow mathematician George Boole’s theories in the 1881 book ‘Symbolic Logic’ in which he developed what would later become known as Venn Diagrams which is a diagram of two or more overlapping circles. The graphs, featured in the book, showed the relationships between sets, with diagrams similar to the Venn diagram being previously used by Gottfried Leibniz and Leonhard Euler. Venn Diagrams have become a commonly used tool in the teaching of maths and logic as well as to demonstrate similarities between groups. John Venn kept publishing more work such as ‘The Principles of Empirical’ or ‘Inductive Logic’. He died on 4th April 1923 in Cambridge, England, aged 90.
John Venn is commemorated in a number of different ways in Hull, including the Drypool Bridge in Hull which has been painted with lots of overlapping yellow and green circles like Venn diagrams and at the University of Hull with the Venn building which is named after him. He was a genius, Hull born mathematician who deserves to be remembered for his great work for a long time to come.

My Family Poem
By Lauren Habbershaw

I like to play football and I like to eat meatballs
My dad has lots of golf balls and they’re kept in the hall
My mum likes speakers and she likes to dance in her sneakers
My sister likes to blow bubbles and it gets her into trouble
My brother loves clocks and he hates chicken pox

Circle of Fear, Circle of Friends
By Saffia Nessa

Walking along by the side of the lake, I could hear voices in the distance, drawing me towards them. My mind is calling for me to follow the sound. I stumble across to my little wooden boat, moored by the lakeside, climbing in, I’m ready to explore; wondering what’s going to happen.
My eyes focused in the dim light, I began shivering and shaking with fear, knowing I was going into an unknown place, not knowing what would await me.
The ripples around the boat began to dance to their own rhythm, with feverish abandonment. The wind began to sing loudly, eerily, drawing me further into the loop of fear, pushing my little boat to the edge of the lake, lifting me out in its cold, grey arms.
The leaves falling from the trees held hands, enfolding me in their circle of bewitchment. As the leaves swirled, the trees beckoned me to follow, my eyes fell upon a rustic dwelling.
Moving closer to the porch steps, a swing creaked, startling me! I turned around and saw the dolls, sneering right at me! I felt as though I was in a circle of terror, with no way out.
Although in the grip of fear, I was pulled like a magnet into the entrance of the room, I swear the dolls turned grinning at me, watching every move I made. I gazed around expectantly but, for what I don’t know. The overpowering smell of damp reminded me of stagnant water. The chair rocked, dressed in fine gossamer lace, reaching to the corner of the room.
I could hear the voices repeating their chant, the sound came from upstairs. I followed the sound. I tiptoed up the stairs towards a circle of light; the moon beaming through the window.
The voices faded as the glittery light met the golden dust covered box. I slowly walked towards it, desperate to the point of wanting an answer to this strange episode.
Carefully, I opened the box. Inside there was a letter, yellowed with age. The letter was addressed to me!
I carefully opened it, I recognised the handwriting as being that of my grandma! The letter read:
“Dear Savanna,
You need to know that someone in your circle of friends is out to get you! This is born out of jealousy, this person wants to harm you. Alisa is not what she seems! I’ll always look out for you Savanna, even from above. Remember this house is yours now that you have turned eighteen.
Love, Grandma Linda”
I’m really scared. Alissa is my best friend. Holding the letter tightly, I lay down on the bed, pulling the quilt over my head, hiding from the fear that was gripping me.
The slamming of the door awoke me. I was back in my bedroom and so was Alisa! She stood hovering over me with scissors in her hand, glaring menacingly at me.
“Alisa, no!” I cried, as she ran towards my party dress. I grappled her and snatched the scissors from her. “Alisa, why are you doing this?” She stared at me and replied:
“Because you’re so pretty and have everything I don’t”.
I looked at her bewildered, then someone knocked loudly at the front door. Alisa took this as her chance to leave, she turned and ran away quickly.
I immediately ran downstairs to see who was knocking, hoping it was a friendly face.
There was an official looking woman, dressed all in black, with an important looking envelope in her hand. With trembling hands I opened it – it was the deeds to my grandma’s house! Today was my eighteenth birthday!
I must have dreamed about the lake, the house and the letter warning me about Alisa. Such a strange dream.
Later on as I put on my dress ready for the party, something fluttered to the floor. It was a letter, yellowed with age.
It was a dream, wasn’t it?

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