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What I did on my holidays, by Colin (aged 35 and a bit)

We’re all back from the big MathsJam weekend. We’ve got loads of material which we’ll start putting up once we’ve recovered our energies. Meanwhile, Colin Beveridge has sent in his report of the event.

Last weekend – as I’m sure all Aperiodical readers know – was the MathsJam annual gathering in Cheshire.

Now, I’ve always hated conferences. Loathed the bloody things. I resented travelling to them, resented preparing talks, resented the uncomfortable beds, the politics, the enforced niceness. I resented the nod-along-and-pretend-you-understand, the gabble-away-with-your-head-down-so-you-can-say-you-gave-a-talk, the questions-for-the-sake-of-advancing-pet-theories, the sessions that lasted weeks. I resented the trying-to-find-veggie-food-in-New-Orleans, the being-expected-to-show-up-for-everything, the having-to-keep-receipts, all of it.

I could have just stayed at my desk and played Tetris. But MathsJam is different.

The Super Subtraction Feat


How I Unofficially Broke The World Record That Never Was

One of the 70-digit subtraction sums I did for training purposes.

In April, a gentleman called B. Sai Kiran became, briefly, internet-famous for doing arithmetic. In Hyderabad, he subtracted a 70-digit number from another in the barest smidgen over a minute – 60.05 seconds, at the second attempt.