This month’s MathsJam was well attended – we matched last month’s turnout of 11, albeit one of that number was in the form of Ed Bradshaw, the organiser of the Washington DC MathsJam. For Ed, it was 4pm and he was in his office, using Google Plus for a live video connection to a MathsJam halfway around the world. The video connection worked fine, although in a noisy pub we struggled to hear what Ed was saying on my laptop’s tiny speakers, so for some of the evening we used headphones and took it in turns to be in conversation with Ed.
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This is a roundup of things which happened at Manchester MathsJam, February 2012.
First, we discuss a puzzle I found on Futility Closet, a blog of curiosities by Greg Ross which is sometimes mathematical. The Martian Census Bureau compiled the marital history of every male and female Martian, living and dead: Never married: 6,823,041; Married once: 7,354,016; Married twice: 1,600,897; Married three times: 171,013; Married four times: 2,682. What’s wrong with these figures?
January’s MathsJam was a bit massive. It’s now a week later and I’ve only just gathered enough thoughts together to do this writeup.
There were nine of us this month, all but one of whom either maths students or lecturers. A major theme of the night was of professional mathematicians or nearly-professional mathematicians forgetting basic high-school methods. This led to quite an intense session of puzzling and proving.
Things didn’t start out that way, though. A few weeks ago I found the website of a mathematician in Illinois called Alan Schoen, and his page about Lominoes. They’re a pretty interesting set of shapes!