I have a job. This is not the podcasting update, but it does affect it! If you have listened to the latest Math/Maths Podcast you will know that I will be lecturing mathematics from January while trying to finish my PhD thesis, and that we will be putting that podcast on hiatus while I do so. This means no more talking to Samuel Hansen for at least six months.
There is something you can do to fill this mathematical podcasting gap, however. Samuel is trying to raise money through a Kickstarter to allow him upgrade his equipment and improve the quality, to pay for the travel to conduct face-to-face interviews and to make this his full-time job so he can concentrate on a regular release schedule, for his work in maths (math) and science communication over at ACMEScience.com.
At Kickstarter, Samuel says:
ACMEScience.com has spent the last four years trying to do something that very few others have ever attempted, create entertaining, insightful, and interesting content about mathematics and science. Started by Samuel Hansen in the beginning of 2009, ACMEScience has produced a pop-culture joke filled mathematical panel show, Combinations and Permutations, a show that interviews everyone from the CEO of a stats driven dating site to a stand up mathematician to Neil deGrasse Tyson, Strongly Connected Components, a show that tells the stories of the fights that behind DNA, dinosaurs, and the shape of the universe, Science Sparring Society, a video interview show that has featured predatory bacteria and crowdsourced questions, ACMEScience News Now, and a series of hour long journeys into the world of competitive AI checkers computers and stories of the most interesting 20th C mathematician and much more, Relatively Prime.
You may remember that Samuel raised money through a Kickstarter before, for the extremely well-received documentary series Relatively Prime. So you might judge this as evidence that he is capable of delivering this project. However, you may also remember that if he doesn’t raise the whole amount he needs then he gets nothing.
There are various pledge levels, with various rewards. Some of these are aimed at the individual who wants to own a piece of the project. Others are aimed at people who want to sponsor/advertise via the shows and get their message out there. Looking at the level of pledges so far, Samuel could really do with a few companies or individuals who want to get a message out to a mathematics or science audience coming forward and pledging some money. Relatively Prime was very well listened to, and you could get your message to a large, focused, engaged set of listeners.
There is not long to go (only four days at time of writing) and it doesn’t look good. So please pitch in and also tell everyone you know via your own blog/podcast/social networks/etc. so that others will support his effort.
Here is the video in which Samuel makes his case. It’s six minutes so at least watch that! The Kickstarter page is ACMEScience.com by Samuel Hansen. Donating is easy through Amazon payments.
Aperiodicity fans, Neil and Heath need your help! Help in the form of money.
Don’t worry, you’ll get something cool out of it – a set of dart/kite Penrose tiling fridge magnets.
There isn’t much more to it than that. It’s a pretty simple idea, they’re just asking for $5000 to get metal dies made so they can cut them out, hence the Kickstarter. At $5 for a pack of 50 fridge magnets, they’re pretty cheap too.
So have a look, and maybe give these chaps some simoleans if you like the idea.
Penrose Magnets on Kickstarter
Via @haggismaths on Twitter
“Prime. Prime? Prime! Prime factors, twin primes, pseudo-primes? No, no no. Relatively Prime? Yes, Relatively Prime.”
I have a problem, no matter how good an idea I have I can not start to work on it until I have a name. Some names are easy, Combination and Permutations was a name well before I ever had a show to use it, Science Sparring Society followed directly from the concept, and ACMEScience NEWS NOW actually told me what type of show I would be making. Other names are hard.
I had the underlying idea for Relatively Prime (get the first episode here) in an extreme bout of egotism and delusion of grandeur where I spent too long listening to Radio Lab, This American Life, and Snap Judgment and began to think, “Hey, I could do that, but for math.”
GeoGebra is a surprisingly capable piece of free dynamic maths software, used widely by teachers and geometry aficionados. We haven’t discussed it here before, but people have created some really nice interactive tools with it, so we might do a round-up in the near future.
Earlier in the year, the developers released an HTML5 version of GeoGebra, dropping the dependency on Java, which means it works on new-fangled devices such as the iPad through the web browser. Now, following queries about a GeoGebra iPad App from “many people”, a Kickstarter project is trying to raise funds to develop a native iPad App, to be available for free from the Apple App Store.
They don’t say how the iPad app will be different to the HTML5 one, but I assume it’ll make use of the native controls and widgets to present a smoother interface. They could probably do with providing a bit more information to encourage interested parties to cough up the $10,000 they’re asking for. Right now they’re at just over $2,500.
Fellow Androidists can be reassured: the FAQ says that they are planning on getting round to “other platforms” once the iPad version is done.
Kickstarter: GeoGebra for the iPad.
Geogebra Chrome app
You may remember Math52, a Kickstarter project from Mathalicious which reached its goal in June. This promised, “every week for a year we’ll create a short video exploring a unique application of math in everyday life”. Now the Mathalicious video series has launched with two videos, both less than two minutes in length, available via YouTube.
The first video, Tip Jar, explores tipping in restaurants.
When we go out to eat at a restaurant, it’s customary to tip as a percent of the total bill. But is this fair? And what are some other ways we might pay waiters & waitresses?
The videos are snappy and nicely produced. The Mathalicious website offers free lesson plans and materials to support the video in the classroom.
YouTube channel: Mathalicious: the Video Series.
Math52, a project by Mathalicious to “offer a fresh vision of what it means to teach math”, has surpassed its Kickstarter funding goal, which means that the project will receive the pledged money and can go ahead. At the time of writing, over $36,500 have been raised, well over the target of $27,000.
The aim is to “create a new video exploring a unique application of math in everyday life” each week for a year. The Kickstarter closes on Saturday the 16th of June, so there’s still time to throw some money into the pot and get what I assume is a discounted year’s subscription to all the material they produce.
Information: Math52 on Kickstarter
Source: Keith Devlin on Twitter
Previously: Math52: A Fresh Way to Teach?
Mike Croucher works as a science and engineering applications support specialist at the University of Manchester. He asked us for help publicising a Kickstarter project to port Octave to Android, so we thought the best way to do that was to ask him to explain what it’s about himself.