You're reading: Posts By Peter Rowlett

PhD proposal in maths/engineering higher education

My university is advertising 30 fully funded PhD scholarships for autumn 2016. Basically, there are a list of projects and which ones get funded depends on applications. I am lead on a proposal for a topic in maths/engineering higher education. The description is below, and I would be grateful if you could bring it to the attention of anyone who might be interested.

Particularly mathematical New Years Honours 2016

Once again, it’s time for our traditional trawl through the New Years Honours list for mentions of “mathematics”, hoping that better-informed readers will fill in the people this crude method has missed. I’ve found the following names:

  • Steve Humble (Dr Maths) awarded MBE for services to Education (via Garrod Musto on Twitter);
  • Lynn Churchman of National Numeracy awarded OBE for services to Maths and Numeracy education (via Rob Eastaway on Twitter);
  • Sue Black (Bletchley Park campaigner, among much else) awarded OBE for services to technology (via Colin Wright on Twitter);
  • Margherita Biller (Head of Mathematics, York College), awarded MBE for services to Mathematics in Further Education;
  • Emily Shuckburgh, mathematician and climate scientist at the British Antarctic Survey, awarded OBE for services to Science and Public Communication of Science (added in an update 01/01/16, thanks to Colin Cotter on Twitter);
  • Ruth Kaufman, president of the Operational Research Society, awarded OBE for services to Operational Research (added in an update 01/01/16, thanks to Catherine Hobbs in the comments);
  • Clare Sutcliffe, founder of Code Club, awarded MBE for services to technology education (added in an update 01/01/16, thanks to John Read in the comments);
  • Alison Allden, formerly chief executive, Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited, awarded OBE for services to higher education (added in an update 05/01/16, thanks to Susan Oakes in the comments);
  • Professor Dame Ann Dowling, who studied mathematics as an undergraduate and is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at University of Cambridge, is admitted to the Order of Merit for mechanical engineering (added in an update 07/01/16, thanks to Rebecca Waters in the comments).

Are there any others I’ve missed? Please add any of interest in the comments below. A full list may be obtained from the Cabinet Office website.

Being a Professional Mathematician — now available as a podcast

When I worked for the MSOR Network under the National HE STEM Programme, we funded a project called Being a Professional Mathematician which was run by Tony Mann (University of Greenwich) and Chris Good (University of Birmingham). This included the production of a set of audio interviews with mathematicians about their work and historians about historical mathematicians. This audio is now available to listen to in podcast format.

Get the Being a Professional Mathematician podcast in RSS format.

Get the Being a Professional Mathematician podcast on iTunes.

The wider project includes resources and suggestions for using this audio in teaching undergraduates, inclunding the booklet Being a Professional Mathematician.

Enjoy!

Mathematical myths, legends and inaccuracies: some examples

I’m teaching a first-year module on the history of mathematics for undergraduate mathematicians this term. In this, I’m less concerned about students learning historical facts and more that they gain a general awareness of history of maths while learning about the methods used to study history.

Last week, I decided I would discuss myths and inaccuracies. Though I am aware of a few well-known examples, I was struggling to find a nice, concise debunking of one. I asked on Twitter for examples, and here are the suggestions I received, followed by what I did.