I had the idea of doing short videos about mathematical objects I’ve got lying around. First up is a very unconventional group theory textbook.

I had the idea of doing short videos about mathematical objects I’ve got lying around. First up is a very unconventional group theory textbook.

新年好, everyone! It was Chinese New Year on Monday, starting the year of the monkey. I didn’t really pay attention last year, so I didn’t know that it had been the year of the goat. I also wasn’t aware until just now when I looked it up that next year will be the year of the rooster.

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My good friend David Cushing popped on Facebook messenger to ask me a question:

I did tweet it, and I got a lot of good responses. Before I tell you about those, I’ll quickly list the books we mentioned above, that *of course* a keen 13-year-old already has.

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I gave a talk at the big MathsJam conference at the start of this month. It happens annually, so I had a whole year to come up with something interestingly mathematical to entertain my fellow mathmos.

When it came time to decide on a topic, I realised I’ve done loads of stuff this year! It was really hard to choose. So, now MathsJam is over, I thought I’d collect together all the mathematical things I’ve done in the last 12 (-ish) months.

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I’ve put a very clever horse on the internet. He’s called Hans and I’ve made a little video about him.

You can ask Clever Hans your own questions! Go to christianp.github.io/clever-hans and make sure your microphone is turned on. Another proviso: I think only Google Chrome supports the special technology I used to make Hans work. Sorry!

I’ll explain how Hans does his horsey magic below the fold.

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This morning, Twitter was doing its Twitter thing about a maths problem again. Most people were linking to this BBC story, “Crocodile maths question ‘was challenging'”.

Apparently this year’s Scottish New Higher maths exam contained a question which a lot of people found hard. You could remove the word “crocodile” from that headline and obtain a perfectly acceptable statement about a maths exam, but that’s not what people are complaining about.

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This summer my wife and I went to America on our honeymoon. We had a lovely time – it was hot, we saw stripey flags in all sizes, and we marvelled at what substances count as “food” in the land of the free.

But what I really want to tell you about is the National Museum of Mathematics in New York. We couldn’t fly all the way to the East coast of America and not pay a visit. So we did!

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