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Applications are open for the 6th Heidelberg Laureate Forum

HLF LogoYou may have noticed Aperiodical team members Paul and I were blogging from the Heidelberg Laureate Forum back in September. The HLF is an opportunity for young researchers (PhD, MSc and post-doc) to meet the winners of prestigious prizes in maths and computer science, including the Abel Prize, Fields Medal, ACM AM Turing Prize and Nevanlinna prize.

The next HLF will take place in September 2018, and applications open today for Young Researchers who want to participate. If you’re a maths or computer science researcher and want to be invited on a trip to Germany with lots of interesting talks, delicious food and good company, you can apply on the HLF website from today.

New maths board game Mind Your Numbers

Mind Your NumbersYou may recall a few years ago we posted about a crowdfunded mathematical board game called Three Sticks. Well, the team behind it are at it again and have a new concept for a game, called Mind Your Numbers.
The game involves using the numbers 1 to 9, and twelve symbols (three each of +,×,-,÷). The challenge is to combine the symbols and numbers in the right way to get a higher score than your opponent. It requires fast calculation, strategic thinking and a bit of luck.
Their IndieGoGo campaign hopes to raise enough money to go into production, and they have 7 days left to take pre-orders and donations in return for goodies. It’s also possible to make a donation which results in not you, but a worthy school in rural India, getting a copy of the game.
Watch the video below for an idea of how it works!

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

Ritangle student maths competition open now

Ritangle, a maths competition aimed at A-level and equivalent maths students in the UK, is open for registration. The first set of preliminary questions has already been released, but the main competition starts on 9th November and there’s still time to register a team.

Comprising 21 questions over 21 days, the competition requires no maths beyond A-level and the winning teams gets a hamper and a trophy.

Ritangle website

The Sound of Proof

The Sound of Proof screenshot

Marcus du Sautoy has tweeted about a mathematics and music project he’s involved in, called The Sound of Proof. Five classical proofs from Euclid’s Elements have been interpreted by composer Jamie Perera into musical pieces, and they’ve put together an app/game to see if you can work out which one corresponds to which.

They’ll be announcing the results at an event as part of Manchester Science Festival in October. The project is a collaboration with PRiSM, the research arm of the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.

The Sound of Proof, at RNCM PRiSM

2017 London Mathematical Society Popular Lectures now online

The London Mathematical Society Popular Lectures present exciting topics in mathematics and its applications to a wide audience. The 2017 Popular Lectures were Adventures in the 7th Dimension (Dr Jason Lotay, University College London) and The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Physics in Maths (Professor David Tong, University of Cambridge).

The Lectures are now available on the LMS’s YouTube channel, along with many of the previous years’ videos.

Progress on billiard table problem

Quanta Magazine reports progress on what its headline calls the “Infinite Pool-Table Problem”. The problem is explained in the article as follows:

Strike a billiard ball on a frictionless table with no pockets so that it never stops bouncing off the table walls. If you returned years later, what would you find? Would the ball have settled into some repeating orbit, like a planet circling the sun, or would it be continually tracing new paths in a ceaseless exploration of its felt-covered plane?

The article describes progress on the problem via study of ‘optimal’ billiard tables, “shapes whose particular angles make it possible to understand every billiard path that could occur within them”.

More information

New Shapes Solve Infinite Pool-Table Problem, Quanta Magazine.

via @ColintheMathmo on Twitter.