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Braid groups win 2017 Dance Your PhD contest

If you hadn’t heard of Dance Your PhD, it’s one of many competitions open to researchers who want to communicate their work in interesting ways – although it’s unique in that it challenges people to interpret their research topic in the form of a dance.

Black Mathematician Month: Closing Ceremony

Below is an article marking the end of Black Mathematician Month, written by the team at UCL. We’ve been participating in the project too, and we’ve found it a great opportunity to invite new authors to write for our site and to showcase black mathematicians from the UK and elsewhere. We’ve posted several articles during the month, and hope to continue to feature more diverse authors on the site going forward, with a few more posts anticipated soon.

To mark the end of the month, Dr Nira Chamberlain gave a lecture yesterday at UCL, and if you missed it, the event live-stream will be posted on the Chalkdust social media:  Facebook / Twitter

Vi Hart is crowdfunding

If you appreciate the work of internet mathematician and hyperbolic virtual reality pioneer Vi Hart, or even if you’ve never heard of her before, you can now help support her work by subscribing to her Patreon. Vi Hart has never put any adverts on her videos or charged for her work until now, but since she’s stopped being employed by people who support that, she’s in need of your help. Check out the video below for details, or click the link below that to add your support.

Vi Hart’s Patreon page

Ditching the fifth axiom (video)

Watch geometer/topologist Caleb Ashley explain the parallel postulate on Numberphile.

@standupmaths’ petition has had a response from the government

Ewood Park football ground sign

Friend of the site Matt Parker recently made headlines because of his UK Government Petition to correct the heinous geometrical oddity that is the UK Tourist sign for a football ground. In the standard sign, somehow a sheet of tessellating hexagons is depicted as wrapping around a sphere in a highly improbable (and provably impossible) way.

The petition has achieved a modicum of success, in that it’s passed the 10,000 signatures required to elicit a response from the government. Sadly, the response isn’t quite what you’d like to hear.

Stirling’s numbers in a nutshell

This is a guest post by researcher Audace Dossou-Olory of Stellenbosch University, South Africa.

In assignment problems, one wants to find an optimal and efficient way to assign objects of a given set to objects of another given set. An assignment can be regarded as a bijective map $\pi$ between two finite sets $E$ and $F$ of $n\geq 1$ elements. By identifying the sets $E$ and $F$ with $\{1,2,\ldots, n\}$, we can represent an assignment by a permutation.