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The Mathematician’s Shirts

Patches ready to sew

Patches ready to sew

The shirt symbolizes the formality of a male-dominated society and of conformance to society’s rules. Mathematics, too, is a realm of formality and rules populated largely by men. Yet in both shirts and mathematics there is room for creativity and individuality.

In The Mathematician’s Shirt project, artist Madeleine Shepherd and mathematician Julia Collins set about challenging these notions by turning a collection of formal shirts (donated by mathematicians!) into mathematical art. Inspired by the work of mathematicians in Edinburgh, the fabric of the shirts got twisted into 4-dimensional shapes, woven into knots and stitched into different geometries.

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.

Ask a mathematician: “Where should we live?”

Dear Mathematician,

My partner and I are trying to buy a house. We both work in different places, and neither of us enjoys commuting. How could we decide where to live?

Fictionally yours,

Norman Mettrick


Thank you for your intriguing and entirely imaginary letter. The short and not terribly useful answer would be:

The Table Never Lies

The table never lies, or so they say. So when Manchester City were crowned Premier League Champions last week everyone seemed to agree that they were the best team in the league. As Roberto Mancini said, they had scored more than United and conceded less and beaten them twice in the league. Although United finished on the same number of points it would be difficult to find a measure by which they deserved the title over City. Or would it?