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News Round-up, 21/10/14

Here’s some quick stories from the world of maths this week.

Samuel Hansen’s Relatively Prime Kickstarter has been funded

You may have noticed us banging on about this, but Aperiodical editor Peter Rowlett’s former podcasting partner in crime, Samuel Hansen, is up to his usual tricks, crowdfunding an excellent series of podcasts telling stories about the world of maths. The good news is, he’s managed to get his Kickstarter funded! With a little help from some internet celebrities, he’s reached the target and will now be able to produce Series 2 of his ace podcast, Relatively Prime. Watch this space for news of when the podcast starts coming out.

Relatively Prime website

It’s Martin Gardner’s 100th birthday

Image from Wikimedia CommonsEveryone’s favourite mathematical granddad, Martin Gardner, celebrated his birthday on 21st October, and today would have been his hundredth birthday! In celebration, recreational maths fans all over the globe are getting together to solve puzzles, do magic tricks, make hexaflexagons and generally have fun with maths, in much the way MG himself would have wanted.

There’s a whole load of Martin Gardner ‘Celebration of Mind’ events listed on their website, as well as numerous articles, blog posts and stories to read about the great man. If you’d never heard of him, now’s the time to find out – bake a cake, and put 100 candles on it so that every set of 3 candles lie on a line that passes through… never mind.

Martin Gardner Centenary Twitter account, @MGardner100th
Celebration of Mind Website
Can you solve Martin Gardner’s best mathematical puzzles? by Alex Bellos at The Guardian
Martin Gardner’s 100th Birthday, at the Wolfram Blog

Matt Parker’s MegaMenger project is this week

One of the many events taking part in celebration of the Gardner centenary is the MegaMenger project – an ambitious international fractal origami project, run by Aperiodichum Matt Parker and the NYC MoMath’s Laura Taalman. This week, they’re building a self-similar fractal in locations around the world, hoping that all the fractals together will add up to one giant fractal of the next iteration up. The whole thing will take over 1.3 million cards, and several thousand person-hours of folding.

Builds are happening in dozens of locations worldwide, and if you’re not near a main build to join in, they’re happy for you to build a smaller fractal where you are and they’ll mark you on their mega-map. The smallest fractal is made from only 120 pieces of card, so there’s really no reason not to get involved!

MegaMenger website

Yitang Zhang is named a Macarthur Fellow

Stretching the boundaries of what can be called ‘news’, but because we didn’t mention it at the time: Professor Yitang ‘Tom’ Zhang, of bounded gaps between primes fame, has been named a 2014 Macarthur Fellow. The so-called ‘genius grant’, awarded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, gives Zhang five years of funding to pursue further work. Well done!

UNH Mathematician Zhang Is 2014 MacArthur Fellow, at the UNH website

Mathematica Online launched

Another one we missed at the time – there’s now an online version of Mathematica which can be accessed through a browser. You do need a login, which you can get by registering for an online subscription, or through an existing site license, but you can now access the calculation power from any computer, without needing to install the software.

Launching today: Mathematica online! at the Wolfram Blog

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