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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.

We’re all off to MathsJam!

This organ’s benevolent editing triumvirate is making its way to a conference centre outside Crewe this weekend for our AGM, which happens to coincide this year with the big MathsJam conference. If you’re going as well, please do say hello, and if you’re not, keep an eye on each of our Twitter feed @aperiodical and the #MathsJam hashtag. We’re going to be trying to tweet along with most of what’s happening, as will most of the other 100 attendees, and we’re going to have some good posts lined up for the coming weeks based on what we see there.

Manchester MathsJam, September 2012

This month saw a record high turnout, requiring as many as three tables being pushed together, a whole bag of maltesers and a tin of shortbread someone got for Christmas and hadn’t eaten yet. We also had one new attendee who had previously been a regular at Newcastle MathsJam, and has now moved to Manchester for a PhD. Not that it’s a competition or anything, but in your face Newcastle. In fact, the turnout was so large that I couldn’t even keep track of everything that was going on, and when I collected in all the scrap paper I found people had written down several things I wasn’t aware we talked about, including the method for cube rooting large numbers used by Maths Busking.

Manchester MathsJam Recap, August 2012

This month was a small group, but MathsJam is serious business so we got through loads of fun in the time allotted for fun. To start with, we hacked away at Leeds’ tweeted starter for ten: