Review: Geometry Snacks, by Ed Southall and Vincent Pantaloni

Geometry Snacks cover

Exams have a nasty habit of sucking the joy out of a subject. My interest in proper literature was dulled by A-Level English, and I celebrated my way out of several GCSE papers – in subjects I’d picked because I enjoyed them – saying “I’ll never have to do that again.”

Geometry is a topic that generally suffers badly from this – but fortunately, Ed Southall and Vincent Pantaloni’s Geometry Snacks is here to set that right.

“Pariah Moonshine” Part III: Pariah Groups, Prime Factorizations, and Points on Elliptic Curves

In Part I of this series of posts, I introduced the sporadic groups, finite groups of symmetries which aren’t the symmetries of any obvious categories of shapes. The sporadic groups in turn are classified into the Happy Family, headed by the Monster group, and the Pariahs. In Part II, I discussed Monstrous Moonshine, the connection between the Monster group and a type of function called a modular form. This in turn ties the Monster group, and with it the Happy Family, to elliptic curves, Fermat’s Last Theorem, and string theory, among other things. But until 2017, the Pariah groups remained stubbornly outside these connections.

Review: The Maths Behind… by Colin Beveridge

The Maths Behind... front coverEd Rochead sent us this review of Aperiodipal Colin Beveridge’s latest pop maths book.

This book is written to answer the question ‘when would you ever use maths in everyday life?’ It therefore focuses on applied maths, across a surprisingly wide breadth of applications. The book is organised into sections such as ‘the human world’, ‘the natural world’, ‘getting around’ and ‘the everyday’. Within each section there are approximately ten topics, for which the maths behind some facet of ‘everyday life’ is explained, with cheerful colour graphics and not shying away from using an equation where necessary.

AMS Communication Awards

Photo of Vi Hart: M Eifler, 2017 (CC by 4.0). Photo of Matt Parker: Steve Ullathorne

Photo of Vi Hart: M Eifler, 2017 (CC by 4.0). Photo of Matt Parker: Steve Ullathorne

The American Math Society’s Joint Policy Board for Mathematics has announced the winners of its 2018 Communication award. This year’s winners are internet maths wizard/YouTube star Vi Hart, and Aperiodipal and Stand-up Mathematician Matt Parker.

Both produce brilliant, enjoyable and illuminating mathematical videos (Vi Hart, Matt Parker), as well as numerous other projects – Vi Hart has worked with Khan Academy, produced online interactive mathematical stories, and done some super work on hyperbolic/4D virtual reality, while Parker performs with science comedy team Festival of the Spoken Nerd, has started the MathsJam pub maths movement, has written a popular maths book, and appears regularly on TV and radio.

The award includes a prize of $2,000, and aims to encourage high-quality communicators of mathematics. We think they’ve made a good choice!

More information

News post on the AMS website
About the AMS JPBM Communication prize