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Aperiodical News Roundup – February 2021

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Here’s a round-up of the latest mathematical news from the (perfectly rectangular) month of February.

Competitions & Programmes

Teddy Rocks Maths essay competition for students

The Teddy Rocks Maths Essay Competition is a joint venture between mathematician Tom Crawford and St Edmund Hall at the University of Oxford, which asks high-school students to explain their favourite mathematical topic in an essay aimed at a non-specialist audience. Cash prizes are available, and the winners will be showcased on Tom’s website. The closing date is Friday 26 March 2021 and the winners will be announced in April.

Teddy Rocks Maths essay competition for students, on the St Edmund college website

Philippa Fawcett internship programme

The Philippa Fawcett Internship Programme is a funded summer research programme intended for women and non-binary students in maths who who would like to gain first-hand experience as a researcher. 3 funded placements are available for Summer 2021 and the application deadline is 15th March.

Philippa Fawcett internship programme, on the Cambridge University website

Cecil King travel scholarships

The London Mathematical Society offers two £6,000 travel awards, funded by the Cecil King Memorial Foundation for early career mathematicians, to support a period of study or research abroad. The application deadline is 31 March.

Cecil King travel scholarships, on the LMS website

Other News

Isadore Singer has died

On 11th February we lost giant of Index theory Isadore Singer, whose work uniting maths and physics and lifelong commitment to teaching has had a profound impact.

Institute Professor Emeritus Isadore Singer, renowned mathematician who united math and physics, dies at 96, on the MIT website

Jean Bourgain’s slicing conjecture solved

An outsider to the field of geometry has made a breakthrough on a higher-dimensional geometry problem posed by the late Fields medalist Jean Bourgain back in the mid-1980s.

Statistics Postdoc Tames Decades-Old Geometry Problem, on Quanta Magazine

Chalkdust Book of the Year shortlist announced


Chalkdust Magazine, the magazine for the mathematically curious, has picked out the shortlist for its annual Book of the Year award. The list includes some great recommendations, and they’re posting reviews of each book over the next few weeks with the winner being announced on 15th March.

Chalkdust Book of the Year 2020, on the Chalkdust website

Polyhedron Models Kickstarter

Roni Malek, a retired science teacher with a laser cutter and an idea, has designed two brilliant sets of no-glue cardboard polyhedron models – edge only and full face versions. The pieces clip together satisfyingly and produce sturdy, aesthetically pleasing polyhedra (we were sent some to play with and they’re genuinely fun to build). He’s looking for backers to support his Kickstarter to get them manufactured at scale. For as little as £5 you can secure a set to play with, and rewards go up to multipacks containing a bunch of sets.

Polyhedron Models Kickstarter

Numberblocks Series 5 launching next week

Fans of CBeebies’ legendary small childen’s numeracy powerhouse Numberblocks will be pleased to hear that the first episode of Series 5 will premiere next Monday, 8th March at 8.10am (also repeated in the afternoon and on iPlayer). The promotional tweet and replies from the show seem to hint that there might even be some non-integer based number/block action in the new series. We’ll be watching.

Kyle Evans/Hana Ayoob have a new book out

Following on from the success of their previous collaboration Here Come the Numbers, musical maths performer Kyle Evans has teamed up again with illustrator Hana Ayoob to produce another fab book of mathematical poetry, covering topics from probability to infinity. The book came out on 1st March, and they’re planning a launch party on Sunday 7th March (3-4pm UK time) – you can join the mailing list to be sent details by visiting Kyle’s website.

Book announcement on Kyle’s website

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