On Tuesday evening I attended a Maths-Art Seminar at London Knowledge Lab. This was a talk by Cameron Browne on Truchet curves and surfaces. More information on this and other topics, as well as some interesting visuals can be found at Cameron’s website.

On Tuesday, I attended a Maths Promoters Network event at De Morgan House at which Marcus du Sautoy gave a talk on public engagement with mathematics. This talk was a very personal one on Marcus’ experience of dealing with the media and was very interesting. An interesting point was Marcus’ belief that it was valuable to accept requests for silly faux-mathematical stories from the media if (and only if) a serious mathematical message could be attached.

Marcus was keen to emphasise the importance of mathematical research alongside maths communication and shared the quote from David Hilbert:

“A mathematical theory is not to be considered complete until you have made it so clear that you can explain it to the first man [or woman] whom you meet on the street.”

Overnight there was an earth quake. Oblivious, I managed to sleep through this, though plenty of people have talked about it today. There are seismologists scrambling to measure the quake and reports are giving values on the logarithmic Richter Scale. The suggestion that this quake was caused by an old fault in the East Midlands reactivating will need to be investigated. At the same time, insurance companies are working to respond to claims from customers who were affected and reports include the estimated cost of the earthquake to the country. Lots of mathematics going on today, then. The BBC have a good round up on UK earthquakes and the cost of the earthquake.

Despite the earthquake being centred around Market Rasen in Lincolnshire, on my arrival in London this morning the headline on the newspaper stand was “QUAKE HITS LONDON”. Shocking!

I was in London to attend the IMA Executive Board, where I presented my ideas for the University Liaison work in a report. I am much relieved to have received the kind words and encouragement of the members of Executive Board and feel much more confident of my plans. I will resist the urge to quip some suggestion that my work will be a shake up of similar proportions!

During my travels I will be videoing people telling jokes… for better or worse! You can view these on YouTube. At the moment the inaugural videos are Pete Green and Frank Howarth, undergraduate students at the University of Manchester. Pete tells some jokes and Frank gives some chat up lines.