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Bridging the Mathematics Gap: your views

The Advisory Committee on Mathematics Education have a call for views on post-16 education. This says:

In a speech at the Royal Society in July 2011, the Secretary of State Michael Gove stated his wish that within ten years, all young people would be studying some form of mathematics post-16. ACME is seeking views on how we can make this a reality.

A paper giving some background information & details of how to submit your views are available via the website.

ACME: Bridging the Mathematics Gap : Have Your Say.

Every odd integer larger than 1 is the sum of at most five primes

Terence Tao has uploaded to the arXiv a paper “Every odd number greater than 1 is the sum of at most five primes“, submitted to Mathematics of Computation. He says this result is:

in the spirit of (though significantly weaker than) the even Goldbach conjecture (every even natural number is the sum of at most two primes) and odd Goldbach conjecture (every odd natural number greater than 1 is the sum of at most three primes). It also improves on a result of Ramaré that every even natural number is the sum of at most six primes. This result had previously also been established by Kaniecki under the additional assumption of the Riemann hypothesis, so one can view the main result here as an unconditional version of Kaniecki’s result.

A 17×17 4-colouring with no monochromatic rectangles

Described on The Math Less Traveled

No pardon for Turing

A government minister in the Ministry of Justice, Lord McNally, in response to a question from Lord Sharkey on Thursday 2nd February 2012 made a statement in the House or Lords that “a posthumous pardon [for Alan Turing] was not considered appropriate”.

The statement acknowledges that the offence of which Turing was convicted “now seems both cruel and absurd” but says that Turing “would have known that his offence was against the law and that he would be prosecuted”. This says that the:

long-standing policy has been to accept that such convictions took place and, rather than trying to alter the historical context and to put right what cannot be put right, ensure instead that we never again return to those times.

Back when the pardon petition was launched in November 2011, John Graham-Cumming, the man responsible for the Turing apology petition in 2009, wrote a blog post explaining why he did not support the pardon petition: Why I’m not supporting the campaign for a pardon for Alan Turing (26 November 2011).

On the Math/Maths Podcast this week Samuel Hansen spoke convincingly about a pardon, above an apology, as having the effect of removing the conviction, not merely apologising for it. Graham-Cumming points to the Protection of Freedoms bill, currently passing through the House of Lords, which:

specifically allows for the disregarding of convictions under the old law that was used against Turing. Once disregarded the law causes their convictions to be deleted. It’s not quite the same thing as a pardon, but its effect is to lift the burden of a criminal record from these living men [those who are “still hurt by that law”].

Math/Maths 84: A π-curious Nerd

Math/Maths 84 is now available.

A conversation about mathematics between the UK and USA from This week Peter spoke with special guest Matt Parker about Festival Of The Spoken Nerd, Your Days Are Numbered, use of the word ‘geek’ and the Telegraph Numeracy campaign, and with Samuel, live from the streets of New York City, spoke about: superbowl math; The Crafoord Prize; John Leech MP says Alan Turing should be pardoned; singingbanana code challenge 2012; Non-transitive Grime Dice; Facebook-type Mathematics networking site; Torus Games & more.

Puzzlebomb 2 released

Katie Steckles has released Puzzlebomb 2. If you missed it, Puzzlebomb 1 was released last month and caused some entertainment at my local Maths Jam. These puzzle sheets contain original puzzles.

The solutions for Puzzlebomb 1 have also been released.