I had a play with a site called fyrebug.com and made a slider puzzle using the Travels in a Mathematical World podcast image. I mention the slider puzzle in the 14-15 puzzle form in my puzzles talk and you can read about the history of it at Archimedes’ Lab. You can play the Travels in a Mathematical World version here:

# Podcast: Episode 46 – Frank Kelly, random processes, networks and optimization

These are the show notes for episode 46 of the Travels in a Mathematical World Podcast. 46 is the number of human chromosomes. More about 46 from Number Gossip.

Prof Frank Kelly, Master of Christ’s College Cambridge, talks about his career researching random processes, networks and optimization both within the University of Cambridge and through corporate collaboration. You can find out a lot more on Frank Kelly’s website.

This recording was made live during the panel discussion at the Young Researchers in Mathematics 2009 Conference at the University of Cambridge. Find out more about future events at the Young Researchers in Mathematics website. You can watch the whole panel discussion, including an extended question & answer session as “Where has maths taken you?“

You can find out more about my work with the IMA by following me on Twitter, reading this blog and visiting http://www.ima.org.uk/student/. Join the Facebook page.

# Podcast: Episode 45 – Maths news with Sarah Shepherd

These are the show notes for episode 45 of the Travels in a Mathematical World Podcast. 45 is the only number that is the sum of its digits multiplied by 5 More about 45 from Number Gossip.

This week on the podcast I met Sarah Shepherd, PhD student at the University of Nottingham and Editor of iSquared Magazine, and we discussed some maths news. Links to all the articles we mentioned are below.

In October the podcast turned 1 year old, since episode 1 was released on the 4th October 2008.

At the beginning of the month, Stephen Hawking gave up his title as Lucasian Chair of Mathematics at Cambridge. Read “Hawking gives up academic title” from the BBC. At the end of the month, new Lucasian Professor Michael Green took up the post. Read “Stephen Hawking’s successor as Lucasian Professor of Mathematics: Michael Green” from the Times and “Stephen Hawking’s successor named” from the BBC. You can find an interview with “Michael Green: Master of the universe” from the Guardian.

The 125th anniversary of the agreement which saw the adoption of the Greenwich Meridian line. Read “At the centre of time” from the BBC.

The launch of maths educational games website Manga High, which received a lot of press attention with headlines like “Killer robots make maths homework less dull” from the Times. You can read a review as “Maths is the bedrock of the digital age” in the Guardian.

The release of graphic novel Logicomix. Read “Bertrand Russell’s mathematical quest adds up to unlikely graphic novel hit” from the Guardian.

Mathematicians at Dundee University are to develop a virtual model of cancer growth. Read “Mathematics to build cancer model” from the BBC.

Work carried out by mathematicians at Imperial College suggests low doses of radiation can cause cardiovascular disease. Read “Low dose radiation ‘harms heart’” from the BBC.

Government numeracy campaign targets shoppers. Read “Maths ‘failing bargain hunters’” from the BBC.

Mathematics A Level numbers have seen an increase in 2009. Read MEI report into reasons for the increase in uptake of A Level Mathematics and Further Mathematics in 2009. I also read “Science uptake figures are ‘science fiction’, says report” from the Telegraph.

Thousands of six and seven year olds in England who struggle with maths are to be offered one-to-one teaching in school after a successful pilot scheme. Read “One-to-one maths help for pupils” from the BBC.

A poster competition for undergraduate and PGCE mathematics students from the Further Mathematics Support Programme and Rolls-Royce is currently running. Read “Maths student poster competition just launched!” at Plus.

The IMA are supporting the undergraduate conference Tomorrow’s Mathematicians Today at the University of Greenwich on 6 February 2010. Students are invited to submit abstracts for presentations on topics in mathematics that excite them. The keynote speaker will be Professor Ian Stewart, who earlier this year was the first recipient of the Christopher Zeeman Medal, awarded jointly by the LMS and the IMA for his work on promoting mathematics. More details at the conference website.

Martin Gardner, who has written on recreational mathematics for many years including a popular column in Scientific American, celebrated his 95th birthday. Read “For Decades, Puzzling People With Mathematics” from the New York Times.

For more about iSquared Magazine visit the iSquared Magazine Website.

You can find out more about my work with the IMA by following me on Twitter, reading this blog and visiting http://www.ima.org.uk/student/. Join the Facebook page.

# Maths money savers

Matt Parker, who we heard from in Travels in a Mathematical World episode 31, stars in a new series of videos for the TDA. In each, Matt uses maths to solve a problem involving money. According to a press release the aim is to recruit maths teachers.

Dude, where’s my petrol money

Plane facts

Skills for bills

Flat rates for flat mates

# Podcast: Episode 44 – Andrew Cates, his career

These are the show notes for episode 44 of the Travels in a Mathematical World Podcast. 44 is the smallest number which is the sum of a reversible pair of non-palindromic primes. More about 44 from Number Gossip.

Dr Andrew Cates, CEO of SOS Children, talks about his career working for Shell as strategy consultancy, country manager for Shell in Côte d’Ivoire, as co-ordinating manager for “everything Shell sold to ships worldwide” and in charge of gas and power business in Europe. Andrew also talks his recent work for charity SOS Children, the world’s largest orphan and abandoned children’s charity.

This recording was made live during the panel discussion at the Young Researchers in Mathematics 2009 Conference at the University of Cambridge. Find out more about future events at the Young Researchers in Mathematics website. You can watch the whole panel discussion, including an extended question & answer session as “Where has maths taken you?“

You can find out more about my work with the IMA by following me on Twitter, reading this blog and visiting http://www.ima.org.uk/student/. Join the Facebook page.

# Podcast: Episode 43 – Victor Arulchandran, wave dispersion and PhD skills

These are the show notes for episode 43 of the Travels in a Mathematical World Podcast. 43 is the smallest non-palindromic prime which on subtracting its reverse gives a perfect square. More about 43 from Number Gossip.

This time on the podcast Victor Arulchandran of Brunel University talked to me (in a quite noisy tea room!) about his PhD topic looking at wave dispersion and the wide range of applications of that area of mathematics. Victor’s supervisor is Julius Kaplunov. There is a wealth of information on waves and dispersion in the Dispersive PDE Wiki. There is a page on that wiki detailing dispersion relations.

Victor also talks about the skills he is able to acquire during his PhD which will aide his future career aspirations in financial modelling. There is good information on skills employers are looking for in the IMA Mathematics Careers Advice leaflet and more information on postgraduate study at the Maths Careers website.

# Barcodes

Recently I found out via @beverycool on Twitter that Wolfram|Alpha encodes text as barcodes. For example, here is Peter Rowlett:

Just imagine the uses! Well. Hmm. Not sure how useful, but it certainly seems neat! ;)

@beverycool is suggesting the Google Doodle for 7th October (a barcode of the word Google) might have been created using Wolfram|Alpha. From a blog post on walyou.com by Eran Abramson I discover the 7th October was the anniversary of the Barcode patent in the US by Joseph Woodland and Bernard Silver in 1952. And from a comment on that post by Scott Blake I found this video of Scott scanning the onscreen barcode: “Google barcode logo actually scans!!!”.