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Improbable John Conway/Pizza Hut collaboration for π day

John Conway, here pictured browsing the character table of $Fi_{23}$

Restaurant chain Pizza Hut in the US have announced a promotion for “Pi Day” on March 14, involving an unlikely partnership with renowned group-theorist, Life-wrangler and apparent pizza-lover John Conway. (Apparently, pizza and pie are somehow linked in America. It is probably best not to worry about this.)

Featuring on their blog as the inaugural post under the optimistic tags ‘math‘ and ‘John Conway‘, they explain that three maths puzzles set by Conway will be posted on Pi Day, “varying in level of difficulty from high school to Ph.D. level”. Residents of the 48 contiguous US states can leave their answers in the comments when the puzzles are posted, and the winners receive a 3.14-year supply of pizza (or, as the rules clarify, a somewhat more prosaic $1600 Pizza Hut gift card).

Obviously we will have to wait for the questions to be unveiled to be able to judge the appropriate level of excitement for this promotion, but with Conway involved, no maths-is-really-hard nonsense in the blog post, and not a formula for the perfect anything in sight, things are looking promising for a nice bit of harmless maths/poor childhood diet fun.

More information

Pizza Hut partners with mathematician John H. Conway for National Pi Day math contest – the blog post announcing the competition

John Conway on Wikipedia

AMS online opportunities

downloadThe American Mathematical Society have created a system of online listings for people offering awards, fellowships, professional opportunities and other maths-related callouts. There’s a website at ams.org/opportunities, where you can search, browse, share, and post calls for fellowship and grant applications, prize and award nominations, and meeting and workshop proposals in the mathematical sciences. Current listings include calls for conference papers, an essay competition aimed at high school students, and a call for funding bids for activities relating to women in mathematics, among many others.

The system is aimed at mathematics faculty/scientists, institutions, programs, postdocs/early-career mathematicians, postgrads, undergrads, high school students and teachers (so, pretty much anyone involved in maths), and we’ve cheekily used it to post a call for submissions of articles for our Irregulars column, where we feature guest posts from other authors.

More information

Awards, Fellowships and other opportunities, at the AMS website.

Breakthrough Junior Challenge prize for the best 10-minute explanation of a maths topic

The organisation behind the Breakthrough Prize has announced a competition aimed at school-age kids, called the Breakthrough Junior Challenge, which encourages them to get excited about maths and science, and to make a 10-minute video explaining a challenging concept – which can be an existing bit of research, or something they’ve done themselves.