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Podcasting About: Puzzling Maths

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 Rob Eastaway and Andrew Jeffrey about their new podcast, Puzzling Maths.

Podcast title: Puzzling Maths
Links: RSS feed
Average episode length: 23 minutes
Recommended episode: Episode 4

Puzzling Maths

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

This podcast is about puzzles and the maths of everyday life, away from the context of school. It was partly inspired by the success of Andrew Jeffrey’s daily ‘Learner Drivers’ puzzle slot on BBC 5Live during Lockdown. The first episode went out in August 2020.

Tell us about yourselves – who are you?

We are Rob Eastaway and Andrew Jeffrey – two maths popularisers who want to spread the joy of maths beyond those who are already addicted to the subject.

Who is the intended audience for the podcast? 

This is aimed at that broad cross-section of the general public who are curious about maths and puzzles but would not necessarily regard themselves as mathematicians. The content will also appeal to teachers who are interested in hearing how those outside the classroom perceive and use the subject.

What is a typical episode like?

Our typical episode includes: a couple of quickie puzzles that we set each other; a discussion of unusual ways in which maths has cropped up in our everyday life since the previous podcast; an interview with a special guest to ask how maths features in their profession; and then a more involved puzzle that we leave with the listener to be answered in the next episode.

Why should people listen? Why is it different to other mathematical podcasts?

The podcast is very conversational, and an easy and inclusive way for ‘non-mathematicians’ to discover new mathematical ideas and discover how mathematicians think.

What are some highlights of the podcast so far?

Interviewing BBC radio broadcaster Anna Foster in Episode 3 and asking her why the media often appears to boast about not being good at maths. It’s also fascinating to discover what maths our guests would teach in schools if they were given control of the curriculum for a day.

What exciting plans do you have for the future? 

We want to include as diverse a range of guests as we can: historians, musicians, doctors – everyone has a connection with maths.

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