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Breakthrough Junior Challenge prize for the best 10-minute explanation of a maths topic

The organisation behind the Breakthrough Prize has announced a competition aimed at school-age kids, called the Breakthrough Junior Challenge, which encourages them to get excited about maths and science, and to make a 10-minute video explaining a challenging concept – which can be an existing bit of research, or something they’ve done themselves.

The John Riordan prize for the best solution to an unsolved problem in the OEIS

As mentioned previously, the Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences is 50 this year. To celebrate that fact, and to encourage readers to concentrate on filling in the gaps in the missing entries instead of just adding new ones, there’s a \$1,000 prize for the best solution to an open problem posed in an OEIS entry.

The announcement by OEIS creator Neil Sloane seems only to have been published as a PDF, so I’m reproducing it here for everyone’s convenience:

The Aperiodical’s Best Maths Pun of 2014 Competition – The Results

maxipun

It’s time to reveal the results of our search for the best maths pun of 2014.

First of all, a startling number of you seemed unclear as to what a pun is. Yet others seemed not to notice that we were asking for new puns, so we had to rule those out as well. After ruling out all the invalid entries, we were still left with a few dozen workable puns, so there was plenty to consider.

Below are the results, along with comments from our awards committee (Peter, Katie, Paul and Christian, along with guest celebri-judges Matt Parker, Steve Mould and James Grime, who happened to be nearby at the time).

Congratulations to everyone who gets a mention, and of course to our absolute favourite, the winner. Which will be revealed at the end, after you’ve read all the not-quite-as-good ones, obviously.

‘The Imitation Game’ Cryptography Competition

imitation game codes

To celebrate the release of the upcoming Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game (see our incisive analysis of the film’s trailer by James Grime) the guys at the University of Manchester – who have previously run the hugely successful Alan Turing Cryptography competition – have been asked to run a one-off Imitation Game Cryptography Competition. And they have.

The competition is themed around the (possibly true? Who knows. It’s not like it’s my job to research these things) idea that Alan Turing’s fortune in silver is buried in a secret location somewhere near Bletchley Park, and it’s your job to crack the three coded clues and find out where. Prizes will be in the form of exclusive Imitation Game merchandise donated by the makers of the film, and the competition runs until the 28th of November.

More information

Imitation Game Cryptography Competition

OEIS contest for January AMS/MAA meeting

Top chap (and newest Aperiodipal?) Neil Sloane, founder of the Online Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences, wrote in to direct our attention towards a “best new integer sequence” contest being run on the sequence-fans mailing list.

Any sequence submitted between the middle of December and the middle of January is eligible. The winners (of which there will be at least three) will each receive a signed copy of the original 1973 Handbook of Integer Sequences, as well as the highly coveted “nice” keyword on their encyclopedia entries.

Maths Careers Poster Competition 2013/14

The IMA Maths Careers website has launched its annual poster competition. This time in collaboration with the British Museum’s Citi Money Gallery and part of the Mathematics of Planet Earth, the competition asks entrants to design a single global currency:

Imagine there was a single global currency; what would it look like? How big would it be? What would it be worth?
Your poster should be a pitch to the ‘Bank of the planet Earth’, outlining why your design should be commissioned for minting. The poster must include:

  • The obverse and reverse design for the coin or note
  • Technical specifications (dimensions, weight and material)
  • The exchange rate to pounds sterling (GBP) and two other currencies with the conversion method shown

The poster should be no larger than A4. Colour may be used in coin designs for effect. There are three age categories: 11-13, 14-16 and 17-19. One entry per person per category only is allowed.

The main prize in each age group is an Android tablet and family tickets to the latest exhibition at the British Museum. The deadline for entries is midnight on 15th January, 2014.

Full rules and to submit entries: Poster Competition 2013 / 2014 at Maths Careers.

via Colin Wright on Twitter

IMA seeks mathematical images for anniversary book

You may have heard rumours that the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications is producing a book, published by Oxford University Press, in celebration of its fiftieth anniversary next year. The book will contain accessible and thought-provoking articles on a wide variety of topics through the spectrum of mathematics and its applications.

They’ve now announced that they’re additionally in search of images to illustrate the book, and are seeking submissions. Here’s an extract from their request for submissions.

Illustrations, photographs, computer simulations or even clever doodles — anything that’s colourful and inspirational. […] The idea is that these images should be able to stand alone, like pictures in an art gallery, with minimal explanation. They should ideally be approximately square or portrait style and sufficiently striking to be readable when reproduced at a size of approximately 10cm^2. You need to hold the copyright for the image. […] We also plan to reuse the best images (fully credited to you) in publicity for the IMA, especially its 50th Anniversary.

We’re assuming that here “10cm^2” means 10cm by 10cm, and not having an area of 10cm2, meaning $\sqrt{10}$cm by $\sqrt{10}$cm. Submissions are to be emailed, in a low resolution format initially, to ima50@maths.cam.ac.uk by or before 12th May 2013, along with any appropriate explanation or attribution text, using the word IMAGE in the header.

The IMA is also holding a competition, open to all IMA members, for articles to go in the book. Details of their anniversary celebrations, and the competition, can be found on the IMA website.

More information

We want your maths images! at Plus Magazine

IMA 50th Anniversary