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Recreational Maths Seminar – Seven Staggering Sequences

Yesterday I hosted another recreational maths seminar on Google+. I had a lot of fun! We discussed the paper, Seven Staggering Sequences (PDF), by Neil Sloane. In the paper Sloane, the man behind the fantastic Online Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences, described seven of the sequences he found most especially interesting.

The Hangout was just under an hour and a half long, and we managed to get through five of the seven sequences. Some of them are really hard to understand!

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The Calculus of Love, a short film


The Calculus of Love is a short film by writer/director Dan Clifton and starring Keith Allen. The film’s distributor got in touch with us last week to direct our attention toward the film, with the following synopsis:

Mathematics Professor AG Bowers is obsessed with solving the fabled 250 year old Goldbach Conjecture. When a series of mystery letters arrive hinting at a solution, Bowers believes his lifelong dream may at last be within reach.

After being shown at various film festivals, the film is now available to view online. I’ve embedded it below the fold, along with an interview with the film’s director, Dan Clifton.

Rubik’s Tube

James Grime, cubing hard

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).

Science Lives profile of Robert MacPherson

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.