You're reading: Posts By Katie Steckles

Mathematical Objects: Dobble

Mathematical Objects

A conversation about mathematics inspired by cards from the game Dobble. Presented by Katie Steckles and Peter Rowlett. You can read more about Katie’s adventures in golfing combinatorics.


Aperiodical News Roundup – May 2021

Here’s a round-up of mathematical news from the month of May.

The film Words of Women in Mathematics in the Time of Corona showcases the words of 86 women of mathematics from 37 countries, speaking in 25 languages, on their experience during the pandemic. The project website says:

This pandemic has indeed made women, and in particular women in mathematics, more invisible than ever and we hope that this project will contribute to letting them be heard and seen.

(via Tony Mann)

Mathematician, IMA president and one-time World’s Most Interesting Mathematician Nira Chamberlain appeared on Jim Al-Khalili’s excellent radio show The Life Scientific, and talked about how mathematics can solve real-world problems.

The adventures of Mathina. An illustration showing two children in a rural landscape, with a castle in the distance. Two buttons, labelled "Start Exploring!" and "Introduction"

Mathina is an interactive story book, “based on story-driven experiences, in which children and young learners encounter fictional characters that find themselves in mathematical adventures”. It looks cool! (via Martin Skrodzki)

I is a Strange Loop is a theatrical play, written and performed by mathematician Marcus du Sautoy and mathematician/actor Victoria Gould (formerly Polly off Eastenders). A performance was streamed live on 25th May, and available to watch back on the Oxford Uni maths YouTube channel. The script of the play is also available to buy in book form.

Jean-Michel Bismut and Jeff Cheeger

The winners of the Shaw Prize, “an international award to honour individuals who have recently achieved distinguished and significant advances in their respective fields”, have been announced for 2021, including the Shaw Prize in Mathematical Sciences. This is awarded in equal shares to Prof Jean-Michel Bismut and Prof Jeff Cheeger (pictured right, floating in an abstract mathematical universe), “for their remarkable insights that have transformed, and continue to transform, modern geometry”.

And finally, Turkish mathematician Tuna Altinel has his passport back after two years of fighting the Turkish courts. Altinel was detained by Turkish authorities and his passport confiscated on the grounds of “membership in a terrorist organisation”, due to his attempts to promote peace and support human rights as part of the group Academics for Peace.

More information in this piece from Inside Higher Ed

See also: The case of Azat Miftakhov.

(via Jordan Ellenberg on Twitter)

Mathematical Objects: Arbelos

Mathematical Objects

A conversation about mathematics inspired by an arbelos. Presented by Katie Steckles and Peter Rowlett, with special guest Catriona Agg.

Catriona mentions this proof without words, which is taken from Proof Without Words: The Area of an Arbelos by Roger B. Nelsen in Mathematics Magazine.

Arbelos by Catriona Agg


Carnival of Maths 193

The next issue of the Carnival of Mathematics, rounding up blog posts from the month of April, is now online at Math Off The Grid.

The Carnival rounds up maths blog posts from all over the internet, including some from our own Aperiodical. See our Carnival of Mathematics page for more information.

Carnival of Mathematics 192

The next issue of the Carnival of Mathematics, rounding up blog posts from the month of March, is now online at Eddie’s Math & Calculator Blog.

Screenshot of CoM 192

The Carnival rounds up maths blog posts from all over the internet, including some from our own Aperiodical. See our Carnival of Mathematics page for more information.

Aperiodical News Roundup – March 2021

Here’s a round-up of some maths news we didn’t yet write about this month.


László Lovász and Avi Wigderson

This month the Abel Prize committee announced this year’s award will go to László Lovász and Avi Wigderson “for their foundational contributions to theoretical computer science and discrete mathematics, and their leading role in shaping them into central fields of modern mathematics.” The prize will be handed over at a ceremony in May. You can read more about this year’s prize on the Abel Prize website.

Cheryl Praeger has been awarded the inaugural Ruby Payne-Scott Medal for her mathematical work on symmetry and developing algorithms that help power technology around the world. Named after pioneering Australian radio astronomer Ruby Payne-Scott, the medal recognises exceptional researchers in physical and biological sciences and is awarded by the Australian Academy of Science.

The Royal Society of Edinburgh has announced its list of 2021 Fellows, which includes mathematicians Paul Glendinning, Tara Brendle and Bernd Schroers.

Turing banknote
Image: Bank of England

And since we haven’t reported enough Alan Turing news, the design for the new Alan Turing £50 note has been revealed. GCHQ have released a series of puzzles linked to the design (presumably looking to find the next Alan Turing, so they can put whoever it is on the £100 note a century from now).

Visit the Turing Challenge website to throw your hat in.

Events & Websites

The IMA are running a What it’s like to study Mathematics at University?’ Conference online on 14th April – with speakers including researchers, maths teachers and A-level students, the event will explore what being a student mathematician entails and how to take it further into a career. For ages 16+, it’s free to attend and you can register online.

From the people who brought you the WayBack Machine, the Internet Archive Scholar includes over 25 million research articles and other scholarly documents preserved in the Internet Archive. The collection includes everything from digitised copies of eighteenth century journals through to the latest Open Access conference proceedings and pre-prints crawled from the World Wide Web.

Screenshot of the Her Maths Story website

The newly launched Her Maths Story website collects stories of women mathematicians from all over the world, and includes photos and pithy quotes – it’ll be a useful resource if you want to showcase real mathematicians and their varied backgrounds and careers.

Other news

Rob Eastaway has written a lovely blog post about statistician John Haigh, who passed away on 9th March. Rob also recommends John’s book Taking Chances: Winning with Probability.