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Podcasting about: Wrong But Useful podcast

In this series of posts, we’ll be featuring mathematical podcasts from all over the internet, by speaking to the creators of the podcast and asking them about what they do.

We spoke to site regular @icecolbeveridge (who is Colin Beveridge in real life) about Wrong But Useful, a podcast he presented until recently with @reflectivemaths (who is Dave Gale in real life).

Wrong But Useful logo

Podcast title: Wrong But Useful
Links: AppleArchive
Average episode length: around one hour
Recommended episode: Episode 70 with Sophie Carr

What is your podcast about, and why did it start?

The podcast is about the maths that has caught our eye recently or other bits of maths that excite us. We started because the Math/Maths Podcast [formerly hosted by UK correspondent, our own Peter Rowlett, and US correspondent Sam Hansen] “went on hiatus” and never came back!

Who are you?

The two permanent co-hosts are Dave Gale (a maths and statistics teacher at an undisclosed location in the south-west of England) and Colin Beveridge (mathematician and author based in Weymouth).

Who is the intended audience for the podcast?

Any X in the intersection of “X would enjoy MathsJam” and “X likes unstructured discussion podcasts”. Although Dave is a teacher, we tried hard not to talk about teaching too much and certainly aren’t a ‘Teaching and Learning’ podcast. That’s not to say that teachers shouldn’t listen of course!

What is a typical episode like?

We invite a special guest co-host each month to talk for an hour or so about whatever maths has caught our eyes recently. This can be news, what we’ve read, what’s been hot on twitter, what’s gone on in the classroom, what our loyal listeners have sent us, or any of the co-hosts’ obsessions.

Why is it different to other mathematical podcasts?

We became conscious that we were the podcast cliche of two middle-aged middle-class straight white cis men talking without structure, so we decided to make an effort to diversify the voices on WBU, and to tried to speak with people who don’t sound like us.

What are some highlights of the podcast so far?

I like the MathsJam specials, recorded at the annual Big MathsJam. Here’s the 2019 edition, the 2018 edition in which several maths podcasts all happened at once, the 2017 edition and the first one we did in 2016.

What exciting plans do you have for the future?

Slightly sadly, the podcast is coming to an end this summer after more than seven years. Dave is threatening to possibly-maybe start something teaching-related, while Colin is ready to hang up his headset and focus on writing. We hope someone else will pick up the unstructured maths-in-the-news podcast baton!

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