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Maths at the Edinburgh Fringe

Every August a multitude of comedy shows, theatre pieces, interpretive dance performances, musical extravaganzas and spoken word events spring up all over the Edinburgh Fringe. As a busy mathematician (there are infinitely many integers; who has spare time?) I’m sure you’ll appreciate our guide to which of those things are mathematical, or have a tangential (LOL) relationship with mathematics. Please note: none of these are recommendations, as we haven’t seen the shows and mainly have been grepping the word ‘maths’ in online programmes.

Big Data Week

Anyone who’s a fan of data and bigness will be pleased to hear that 22-28 April is going to be Big Data Week. This  ‘global festival of data’ will take place in participating cities all over the world, including London, Sydney, Barcelona, Shanghai, Amsterdam, Chicago and Utrecht (we only have a MathsJam in one of those so far, but we’re working on it).

The aim of the week is to allow data scientists to work with businesses from different sectors to take advantage of the bigness of data these days – vast amounts of information collected using new technology, whose potential for future applications is mindblowing. One day we could even assemble a list of every sandwich anyone’s ever eaten. Planned events in Big Data Week will include meetups, networking events, hackathons, debates, discussions and data visualisation demos – and hopefully we’ll come out of it with more infographics than you’ve ever seen.

More information:

A date for the diary: Big Data Week at the Royal Statistical Society Website

Big Data Week official website

Redrawing the map of Great Britain from a network of human interactions

This is just about the most right-on, 21st-century paper and associated PR I’ve seen this year. MIT’s SENSEable City Lab has produced this little video to go with a paper by some of their researchers, led by Carlo Ratti:

[youtube url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-hlP8Ql384]

So we have a slickly produced YouTube video announcing an open-access paper about big data with a trendy creative commons 8-bit music track behind it. I don’t know whether to applaud them on a job well done or to have an adverse reaction against that much political correctness and PR budget in one place.