I had a spare day yesterday so, rather than clean my house, I made a model of the SKI combinator calculus out of a pizza box.
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Numberphile filmmaker and general internet legend Brady Haran has been busy putting together a series of YouTube videos about the Rubik’s cube, with contributions from Aperiodical friends Matt Parker and James Grime. The videos also feature lots of solving clips sent in by viewers, and Aperiodical Editor triumvir and sometime maths-talker-abouter Katie Steckles (that’s me) occasionally pops in to make comments and state facts which are no longer true (a world record was broken 4 days after filming).
Just quickly, here’s something I saw on MetaFilter and enjoyed. The Simons Foundation has a “Science Lives” series of “extended interviews with some of the giants of twentieth century mathematics and science”.
This one is with Robert MacPherson, who invented instersection homology with Mark Goresky. I’d never heard of him and topology gives me the heebie-jeebs, but I’ve spent a very happy morning reading the fascinating biography and listening to the interview. The interviewer is Robert L. Bryant, also a research mathematician, so the questions don’t stray away from difficult topics. MacPherson comes across as an all-round excellent guy; I really recommend playing through all the clips when you have some time.
Samuel Hansen is a busy man. As well as finishing off Relatively Prime, he’s continually making up new ideas for podcasts. His latest effort is ACMEScience NEWS NOW1, a series of video interviews with the people behind scientific and mathematical research stories in the news.
We didn’t post about episode 1, with Paul Hines talking about crowdsourcing, due to it coming out in that weird bit of the Summer where all three of us fell asleep for a few weeks. But last night Sam posted episode 2 — an interview with Sally Dodson-Robinson about modelling planet formation — so here it is:
You can subscribe to the ACMEScience NEWS NOW channel on its YouTube page.
- yes, the title has more capitals than a particularly pillarific Medieval cathedral, but that seems to be the way Sam is doing things [↩]
You may remember Math52, a Kickstarter project from Mathalicious which reached its goal in June. This promised, “every week for a year we’ll create a short video exploring a unique application of math in everyday life”. Now the Mathalicious video series has launched with two videos, both less than two minutes in length, available via YouTube.
The first video, Tip Jar, explores tipping in restaurants.
When we go out to eat at a restaurant, it’s customary to tip as a percent of the total bill. But is this fair? And what are some other ways we might pay waiters & waitresses?
The videos are snappy and nicely produced. The Mathalicious website offers free lesson plans and materials to support the video in the classroom.
YouTube channel: Mathalicious: the Video Series.
Matthew Shlian sculpts paper by folding and cutting it.
A few days ago, my friend David asked me if I could help him with a card trick. I said I could, hence this post. I managed to pin David down in front of my camera long enough for him to demonstrate the trick; a full explanation follows this video: