You're reading: Posts By Paul Taylor

Aperiodvent, Day 21: Mathematical Christmas Cracker Jokes

Are Christmas Cracker jokes not funny because they’re cleverly designed to inspire a sense of friendship through shared disappointment? Or are there just not many workable puns available with Yuletide subject matter? Either way, the one thing guaranteed to make them even unfunnier is shoehorning in some obscure mathematical concepts. So why not have a look at our post from 2012 with ten of our ‘favourites’?

This post is part of the Aperiodical’s 2018 Aperiodvent Calendar.

Aperiodvent, Day 19: James Grime’s Maths of Christmas

Friend of the Aperiodical James Grime made this video in 2009 discussing the arithmetic of the Twelve Days of Christmas song. Watch carefully and you might spot in the background the picture he keeps of himself that ages in his place.

Aperiodvent, Day 15: Mathematical Present Wrapping video

In the viral YouTube hit of Christmas 2015, Katie Steckles demonstrates some of the most mathematically satisfying ways you can wrap your Christmas presents.

Aperiodvent, Day 14: Dodecahedron star lantern

If you manage to dismiss all the ads, the blog Happiness is Homemade has a post which shows you how to make a cool dodecahedral star lantern out of paper (and glue, and you’ll need a light source too if you want it to actually function as a lantern).

This post is part of the Aperiodical’s 2018 Aperiodvent Calendar.

Aperiodvent, Day 13: Fold-and-Cut Christmas Tree

The fold and cut theorem, which states that, after sufficient folding, any shape made of straight lines can be cut out of a piece of paper in one cut, is probably the most crafts-friendly result in all of maths.  Inspired by The Aperiodical’s very own Katie Steckles’ video on the subject, Sam Hartburn has created a handy PDF with instructions for folding and cutting a festive Christmas tree shape.

This post is part of the Aperiodical’s 2018 Aperiodvent Calendar.

HLF Blogs: The numbers behind the young researchers – 2018

Last month, Katie and Paul spent a week blogging from the Heidelberg Laureate Forum – a week-long maths conference where current young researchers in maths and computer science can meet and hear talks by top-level prize-winning researchers. For more information about the HLF, visit the Heidelberg Laureate Forum website.

Photo: Bernhard Kreutzer for HLF

For the Wednesday afternoon of HLF, the entire conference gets on a (very large) boat and heads off for a gentle cruise down the river, drink in hand and ready to enjoy the scenery. The young researchers, along with the Laureates and the rest of us, are effectively trapped on the boat for a few hours – so just like last year, we took the opportunity to corner some of the PhD and postgrad students and ask them about their research – and the numbers they find central to their work.