You're reading: Posts Tagged: maths in the media

There’s going to be a film about Ramanujan

The Man Who Knew Infinity was a well-received biography of Srinivasa Ramanujan. Now it’s being made into a film: happy hooray! It’ll star Jeremy Irons as Hardy and Dev Patel as Ramanujan.

That’s all the news about that, for now.

More information

Jeremy Irons to Co-star in ‘The Man Who Knew Infinity’ at Variety.

Irons stars in maths genius biopic in The Belfast Telegraph. (why are all the headlines about the supporting actor?)

The Man Who Knew Infinity in the IMDB.

via Luis Guzman on Google+

All Squared, Number 10: Maths journalism

Evelyn Lamb is a professional mathematician who has taken up journalism on the side. She received the AAAS Mass Media Fellowship last year, and spent the summer writing for the magazine Scientific American. We talked to her about maths journalism, the challenges involved in making advances accessible to a wider audience, and the differences between blogging and print journalism.

Play

Nirvana by Numbers

Alex Bellos has made another documentary for BBC Radio 4, this time about the number zero. It’s a pleasant bit of numerical tourism, as Alex travels to India to find the source of the number zero in a small shrine, with a diversion to talk about Vedic maths along the way.

You can listen to Nirvana by Numbers on the BBC iPlayer. It looks like it’s available indefinitely. If Alex has whetted your appetite for historical zeroes, the book Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea by Charles Seife is a cracking read.

Listen: Nirvana by Numbers on BBC Radio 4.

The perfect formula for mathsiness

It’s mid-January, which means it’s time for the tabloids to trot out their annual “this is the most miserable day of the whole year!” story — before they spend the rest of the year blaming immigration, youth and political correctness for problems they’ve spent the last year stoking up.

Ahem.

Deck the halls with τ of holly, formula-la-laaa!

Christmas is a time for giving, celebrating, family and magic. But did you know it’s also a time for equations? Department store Debenhams has decided to honour this recent Christmas tradition by tasking at least two members of Sheffield University’s undergraduate maths society to come up with formulae for ‘a perfectly decorated Christmas tree‘, picked up by The Sun, The Metro and others.

Christmas Tree

Photo by Aleksandar Cocek, used under a Creative Commons licence.

Previous festive howlers include ‘the formula for the perfect family Christmas‘ (sponsored by The Children’s Society to promote a book) and a prior stab at ‘the equation for the ideal Christmas tree‘ (sponsored by B&Q), which are just nonsensical strings of abbreviations. However, unlike those examples of naff-ematics, the Sheffield tree-decorating equations make enough sense for me to take a critical, overly-serious look at them on their own merits, and show how you might begin to come up with something more rational.