You're reading: Posts By Christian Lawson-Perfect

Cédric Villani is running for mayor of Paris

Cédric Villani under an umbrella

Fields medallist Cédric Villani has announced he’s running to be mayor of Paris.

Villani is already a deputé for Emmanuel Macron’s La République en Marche! party, but his ambition doesn’t seem to be bounded above, so now he wants to be mayor of Paris.

France has already had a mathematician President, Paul Painlevé, so I’m surprised to see Villani revisiting a solved problem. Maybe he’s going for an induction…

How far will Cédric Villani go to achieve his goal? Well, here’s a piece in Le Parisien featuring a photo of him in an open-necked shirt and without his signature spider brooch. Watch out, world!

A press release on Villani’s website also mentions that he’s got a book out in February, Immersion, de la science à la politique, reflecting on his experiences campaigning and in parliament.

TeXnique: a LaTeX typesetting game

You know what’s fun? Typesetting mathematics! Glad you agree, because here’s a game that puts the fun in ‘underfilled hbox’.

Screenshot of TeXnique. A box showing the target formula above a box showing a rendering of code typed in the box below.

In TeXnique, you’re shown a typeset bit of mathematical notation, and have to frantically type LaTeX to reproduce it. You get three minutes, and you’re awarded points when you produce something that’s a pixel-perfect replica of the original. Think Typing of the Dead crossed with The Art of Computer Programming.

When I first saw this I rolled my eyes, but now my high score is 68 and I don’t know why I keep going back to it.

The formulas are largely well-known snippets of notation, so you might find some of them coming out through muscle memory, but if a symbol shows up that you can’t remember the macro for, there’s always the brilliant Detexify tool.

Play: texnique.xyz by Akshay Ravikumar.

The Big Internet Math-Off 2019: the end!

It gives me huge pleasure to announce that the winner of the Big Internet Math-Off 2019, and consequently the World’s Most Interesting Mathematician (2019, of the 16 people I asked, who were available in July and agreed to take part), is:

Sophie Carr!

Sophie Carr

The final was incredibly closely fought, with the lead changing several times over the course of the day. In the end, Sophie’s pitch about Bayes’ theorem and pregnancy tests just pipped Sam’s pitch about grids, with 53% of the votes cast.

The Big Internet Math-Off: The final – Sameer Shah vs Sophie Carr

Here we are! It’s finally the final! One month and 52 pieces of fun maths later, we’re just two more bits of maths away from finding the identity of The World’s Most Interesting Mathematician (2019, of the 16 people I asked to take part, who said yes and were free in July).

It’s Sameer Shah facing up against Sophie Carr. This match works like all the others: they’ve each got a pitch about something mathematical that interests them, and your job is to vote for the the one that makes you go ‘aha!’ the loudest.

The Big Internet Math-Off Semi-final 2: Sophie Carr vs Becky Warren

This is the penultimate match before we find out who is the World’s Most Interesting Mathematician (2019 edition, of the 16 people who were asked to take part and were available in July).

For the second semi-final, from group 3 it’s Sophie Carr up against the winner of group 4, Becky Warren. The pitches are below, and at the end of this post there’s a poll where you can vote for your favourite bit of maths.

Take a look at both pitches, vote for the bit of maths that made you do the loudest “Aha!”, and if you know any more cool facts about either of the topics presented here, please write a comment below!

The Big Internet Math-Off 2019 Semi-final 1: Lucy Rycroft-Smith vs Sameer Shah

The group stage is over, and now we’re only three matches away from finding the World’s Most Interesting Mathematician (2019 edition, of the 16 people who were asked to take part and were available in July).

For the first semi-final, from group 1 it’s Lucy Rycroft-Smith up against the winner of group 2, Sameer Shah. The pitches are below, and at the end of this post there’s a poll where you can vote for your favourite bit of maths.

Take a look at both pitches, vote for the one that made you do the loudest “Aha!”, and if you know any more cool facts about either of the topics presented here, please write a comment below!

Google+