This post is in response to Peter’s post introducing the Approximate Geometric Mean. The approximate geometric mean $\mathrm{(AGM)}$ is a nice approximation of the geometric mean $\mathrm{(GM)}$, but it has some quirks as we will see. After a discussion at the MathsJam gathering, I was intrigued to find out how good an approximation it is…. Read more »

# Approaching Fermi problems with the approximate geometric mean

I gave a talk on Fermi problems and a method for approaching them using the approximate geometric mean at the Maths Jam gathering in 2017. This post is a write up of that talk with some extras added in from useful discussion afterwards. Enrico Fermi apparently had a knack for making rough estimates with very… Read more »

# Ten years and eight days

On 31st January 2008, I gave my first lecture. I was passing my PhD supervisor in the corridor and he said “there might be some teaching going if you fancy it, go and talk to Mike”. And that, as innocuous as it sounds, was the spark that lit the flame. I strongly disliked public speaking,… Read more »

# Carnival of Mathematics 154

The next issue of the Carnival of Mathematics, rounding up blog posts from the month of January, and compiled by Rachel, is now online at The Math Citadel. The Carnival rounds up maths blog posts from all over the internet, including some from our own Aperiodical. See our Carnival of Mathematics page for more information.

# Gerrymandering Gives Mathematics’s Moon a Day in the Sun

If you pay attention to United States politics you have probably noticed that mathematics is currently enjoying a rare moment of relevance. You probably also know this is not happening because all of a sudden politicians have decided that mathematics is clearly the coolest thing in the world, even though it clearly is, but instead… Read more »

# Review: Closing the Gap, by Vicky Neale

Did you read Cédric Villani’s Birth of a Theorem? Did you have the same reaction as me, that all of the mentions of the technical details were incredibly impressive, doubtless meaningful to those in the know, but ultimately unenlightening? Writing about maths, especially deep technical maths, so that a reader can follow along with it… Read more »

# Are you more likely to be killed by a meteor or to win the lottery?

This tweet from the QI Elves popped up on my Twitter timeline: The odds of being crushed by a meteor are considerably lower (i.e. more likely) than those of winning the jackpot on the National Lottery. — Quite Interesting (@qikipedia) January 11, 2018 In the account’s usual citationless factoid style, the Elves state that you’re… Read more »