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All Squared, Number 1: Maths out loud

We’ve been quietly making plans and gathering material for a new project over the past couple of weeks, after noticing that there’s an unusual paucity of maths podcasts at the moment. Well, that exciting new project is now happening, and it’s a half-hour podcast featuring maths, guests, puzzles and links from the internet. It’s called All Squared, and it’ll contain cringe-inducing intro/ending contrivances, interesting guest interviews on topical and other subjects, and a panoply of mathematical curiosities.

This is the first number of the podcast (we thought ‘episode’ would set unrealistic expectations of regularity, and we can never resist a pun). It includes an interview with Edmund Harriss about spoken mathematics, as well as a puzzle which we’ll give the answer to in the next number, and a great mathematical flash game to keep you occupied until that appears.


Competition to visualise open government data

Who loves data? If we’re talking about the android from Star Trek: TNG, then I do, and if we’re talking about the thing that’s not the plural of anecdotes, then I’m pretty sure the answer is everyone.

If you love data, then you’ll definitely love visualising data, and Google have teamed up with the Open Knowledge Foundation to launch a data-visualising competition. Nobody has more data than… well, Google, but second in that race is Governments, and the world’s governments are releasing a massive shedload of open data for people to play with.

Pi day live, starring Marcus du Sautoy

Since it’s Pi Day in March, and ridiculously there are still people who haven’t spurned π completely in favour of τ, maths/media pixie Marcus Du Sautoy is running a free online event, called Pi Day Live (hashtag: #pidaylive). Since everything is more exciting when it’s happening LIVE, actually and IN REALITY, they’ll be conducting a live experiment, using circle measuring, marble arranging, Buffon-y needle dropping and in some extreme cases, river length approximation to calculate, LIVE, in REAL LIFE, approximations to the value of Pi.

Big Data Week

Anyone who’s a fan of data and bigness will be pleased to hear that 22-28 April is going to be Big Data Week. This  ‘global festival of data’ will take place in participating cities all over the world, including London, Sydney, Barcelona, Shanghai, Amsterdam, Chicago and Utrecht (we only have a MathsJam in one of those so far, but we’re working on it).

The aim of the week is to allow data scientists to work with businesses from different sectors to take advantage of the bigness of data these days – vast amounts of information collected using new technology, whose potential for future applications is mindblowing. One day we could even assemble a list of every sandwich anyone’s ever eaten. Planned events in Big Data Week will include meetups, networking events, hackathons, debates, discussions and data visualisation demos – and hopefully we’ll come out of it with more infographics than you’ve ever seen.

More information:

A date for the diary: Big Data Week at the Royal Statistical Society Website

Big Data Week official website

Principia Mathematica – THE MUSICAL

Principia Mathematica is Bertrand Russell and Alfred North Whitehead’s epic maths text which outlines the foundations of mathematics and logic, famously proves that 1+1=2 in 200 pages, and took so much re-writing it nearly sent them both mad in the process. It was also a hugely significant work, attempting to describe a set of axioms and inference rules in symbolic logic from which all mathematical truths could in principle be proven. While this goal was doomed to failure by the Incompleteness Theoreom of Gödel, the project was of great importance in the history of maths and philosophy.

If you haven’t heard of Principia, I recommend reading the excellent Logicomix, which tells the story of Russell’s life and the creation of the book; I also recommend attempting to read Principia Mathematica, although as far as I know, very few people have succeeded in this.

Anyway, the third and final volume of the book was published 100 years ago this year, and in celebration, as the title of this post has completely given away, theatre company The Conway Collective is putting on a musical written by Tyrone Landau and based on the book.

The world premiere of the musical is taking place on 20th February, at Conway Hall in London, and the event description notes that

The evening is scored for singers, dancers, musicians and philosophers.

It also requests that you “prepare to be astonished”, although frankly I’d be astonished if I weren’t astonished. Oh no, Russell’s paradox!

Further information:

Event information on the Conway Collective website

Eventbrite, for buying tickets

Facebook event

via Haggis the Sheep on Twitter

Foldable Dodecahedron Calendar made in LaTeX

If anyone still hasn’t sorted themselves out with a calendar for 2013 – come on people, it’s February! – there’s a nice example of one here. It’s a dodecahedron which, once assembled, you can presumably orient to display the correct month (or the incorrect month, if you’re an impish sort).

The best thing about it for fans of LaTeX (the majestic mathematical markup language of kings) is that this thing is written entirely in LaTeX, using the TikZ package to create the graphics.

Download: PDF and TeX files, as well as all necessary packages, are available from

(If you can’t compile the calendar yourself and want an up-to-date version, click on the Open in writeLaTeX link).

Aperiodcast – 11/02/2013

Two days late, because that is the way we rotate here, it’s another episode of our sporadic navel-gazing podcast.

In this episode we talked about: