Imagine, if you will, a group of people who enjoy recreational mathematics and consequently decide that there should be more places for them to share fun maths. It’s crazy and unprecedented, I know, but humour me.
Recreational Mathematics Magazine does what it says on the tin. It’s a semiannual electronic journal published by the Ludus Association addressing “games and puzzles, problems, mathmagic, mathematics and arts, history of mathematics, math and fun with algorithms, reviews and news.”
Hey, you! Are you aware of MATH?
Well, of course you’d say yes. But every year the Joint Policy Board for Mathematics runs a Math Awareness Month in April as an excuse to promote a load of great materials and events designed to attract other people to the subject.
BBC Radio 4 put out a rather nice 30-minute documentary on the links between maths and magic recently. In Maths and Magic, Jolyon Jenkins explains a couple of simple algebraic ‘mind-reading’ tricks, before talking to various magicians and mathematicians in search of a mathematical trick that doesn’t ‘look’ mathematical. Regular readers of this site will recognise a few of the mathematicians featured in the programme.
I’m now a bit miffed that I managed to miss Jolyon at the big MathsJam in November, because the trick he ends with is the easy version of the de Bruijn trick that David and I made better last year.
Listen: Maths and Magic on BBC Radio 4.
Colm Mulcahy is an original Aperiodical contributor (Aperiodicontributor?) and friend of the site. He’s spent the last year and a bit writing his new book, Mathematical Card Magic: Fifty-Two New Effects. It came out a few weeks ago, so we thought it was a good opportunity to talk to him and find out just what’s so great about mathematical magic tricks.
Actually, we had that thought quite a while ago and if we’d been the least bit organised this podcast would’ve come out the same day as the book. As it happened, we first arranged to talk to Colm back in May, and then it took literally three months before we actually managed to record the interview.
… And then it took us three weeks to edit it up and upload it. Sorry!
Because Colm had so much interesting stuff to say, we’ve split the interview into two parts. In this first half we talk about the book and mathematical card magic; in the second part, out next week, we talk about Martin Gardner and the Celebration of Mind.
Mathematical Card Magic: Fifty-Two New Effects is published by CRC Press, priced £19.99/$29.95.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download
The event map for the Gathering for Gardner Celebration of Mind 2012 is now live, with nine events already listed in North and South America and Europe. More will surely be added in time.
These are parties “to celebrate the legacy of Martin Gardner on or around Sunday, October 21, 2012 through the enjoyment of Puzzles, Magic, Recreational Math, Lewis Carroll, Skepticism and Rationality”. The website explains:
Celebrations can be large or intimate depending on the event. They don’t have to be formal and range from a few friends getting together to discuss the above all the way up to series of lectures at Universities and Science Cafes.
In 2010 there were 66 on five continents and in 2011 there were 70 events on all seven (yes, seven) . This will be the third Celebration of Mind.
More information: You can find an event to attend in your area or sign up to host one.