One of my earliest memories is being woken up very early and sitting on the sofa under a blanket to watch telly. This was a treat. We were never allowed to watch telly in the morning and it was almost as if we were watching telly in bed. Fantastic. On the telly were some people with bad shirts standing in front of some weird symbols and talking a lot to the camera.

Yep, my dad had got us up before dawn so that we could watch an OU maths lecture as a family. When I later asked him what it was all about over my cornflakes, he got out our child’s sized blackboard and drew some triangles all over it to demonstrate Pythagoras’s theorem.

30 something years later and I still remember this as a great experience, and not just because I got to sit under a blanket watching telly.

This early memory explains a lot about why I find Maths Jam so relaxing. We’re forced to get up too early on a Sunday morning by Colin, because he’s so blown away by the maths and he wants everyone to have a go. There’s a board with a load of symbols on that I don’t always fully understand, but always someone close to hand who will explain them to you if you just ask. It doesn’t matter if you still haven’t understood all of it. I know more now than when I started and made some friends in the process.

All we need is Maths Jam issue blankets.

In case you’ve never seen one of the old OU maths lectures, here’s one on non-Euclidean geometry featuring a particularly snappy selection of wide-collared shirts in varying shades of dull: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=an0dXEImGHM

I miss those maths (and other subjects) OU programmes. Why did they stop!? I have a particularly nice memory of one about eigenvectors. Where now on TV do eigenfans get their eigenfix?