Well! I have been quite remiss in writing up the Newcastle MathsJams. The last recap published was for May’s meeting. The end of the year (and associated holiday) is a good time to kick myself up the backside and do the entire second half of the year in one go. So, here’s that.
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This month we had a few new faces, and plenty of regulars. We also had someone’s first MathsJam, and someone’s last (in the UK): Manchester regular Nicolette brought along her 6-week old baby Julia, who experienced her first recreational maths night in a pub, and by this time next month Nicolette will be back in her native New Zealand (obviously, setting up a new MathsJam there).
This month we had a lovely MathsJam, with plenty of old and new faces and a disturbing quantity of activity related to black and white counters. I’d brought a big pile of them and some stuff to do with them, and we got cracking.
MathsJam is a monthly pub night for maths fans, where people can come together and share puzzles, games, problems or anything they think is cool or interesting. It meets in over 30 locations worldwide, on the same date, the second-to-last Tuesday of the month. It’s also an annual conference, now in its fourth year.
The new website was launched on Sunday, and as well as being a place where you can find out about booking for the conference and see details of the weekend, you can also find a full list of past conference talks – titles, blurbs and links to slides where possible. So, if you find yourself trying to remember something amazing which you think someone talked about at the MathsJam conference, you can now find it there.
Those of you with long, long memories (and who attend a MathsJam) may recall that back in November 2012, MathsJam HQ sent out a questionnaire to monthly regional meetups, with various questions about attendance and ping-pong balls. The purpose of the survey was to get a snapshot of what the monthly MathsJams are like, as well as to produce some spurious graphs. Christian and I, who run the Newcastle and Manchester MathsJams respectively, were tasked with analysing the data. Here are our findings!
Better late than never, I’ve posted my recap of Newcastle MathsJam’s March and April meetings on my mathem-o-blog. We talked about topology, made a tiny blanket for a baby snake, failed to work a cardboard computer, and a lot more.
MathsJam this month fell on the day before my birthday, which meant not only was our ‘Jam well supplied with birthday cake, but there was a jubilant mood only aided by the presence of some puzzles I’d written for my birthday party. Everyone had a good crack at the maths-related one, and found it entertaining (see: future Puzzlebombs, where said puzzles will almost certainly feature).