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π-ku Poetry Competition – Results

Photo of a medal with 'WINNER' written on it
Image by AxxLC from Pixabay

A few weeks ago, we asked you to write some mathematical poetry – π-ku, which are a bit like Haiku but instead of the structure 5-7-5, they use the more classical 3-1-4 format (and it doesn’t just have to be syllables – valid π-ku can also use 3, 1 and 4 words on each line, if you prefer).

You responded in large quantities – across Twitter and email, we received over 100 entries, from fun ditties to serious, beautiful poems. Since none of us here at the Aperiodical are particularly well-versed (pun intended) in poetry, we consulted maths/poetry aficionado and special guest judge JoAnne Growney, who runs a blog collating mathematical poems over at Poetry With Mathematics.

Poetry competition: π-ku

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Since some people might be looking for small momentary diversions around now to take their mind off things, we’re running a little poetry competition!

Help for those delivering university mathematics online

Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay

In the pandemic lockdown, people have been grappling with delivering teaching, learning, assessment, support and outreach online, and facing the prospect of continuing to do so into the autumn. In response to this, here are four free online events that are coming up where people doing this for mathematics and statistics are offering practical advice.

sigma Online Support Workshop – 29 May 2020

An online webinar, from 10.00 am to 4.30 pm (BST) on Friday 29th May 2020, offering a selection of talks on using different techniques and technologies practitioners of mathematics and statistics support are using.

This is run by the sigma Network for Excellence in Mathematics and Statistics Support, a long-running supportive community association.

Teaching and Learning Mathematics Online (TALMO) – 2-3 June 2020

A workshop on the afternoon of Tuesday 2nd June and morning of Wednesday 3rd June, offering short online presentations on pedagogical and technological issues and practices associated with online delivery. A call for contributions is open now, along with a form to sign up, to be kept informed of the workshop, seminar series, and other activities.

TALMO is a community initiative supported by the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, the London Mathematical Society and the Royal Statistical Society.

Talking Maths in Lockdown (TMiL) – Maths communication in universities – 4 June 2020

TMiL is a series of online events from the people behind the Talking Maths in Public series of conferences. The session on 4th June is aimed at “people who deliver maths outreach activities as part of a university or large organisation” and promises to “discuss what people can still do, and how to still access training”. It’s part of a series of five informational sessions, and the others will be released on YouTube (the first one is there already).

E-Assessment in Mathematical Sciences (EAMS) – 22 June – 1 July 2020

EAMS is an international conference mixing practitioners and researchers in computer-based assessment which has run since 2016. The 2020 iteration of EAMS will take place online between the 22nd June – 1st July 2020, and will offer “a mix of presentations of new techniques, and pedagogic research, as well as workshops where you can get hands-on with leading e-assessment software”.

Streaming of Maryam Mirzakhani film free until 12th May

Secrets of the Surface is a documentary produced by Zala Films documenting the life and work of mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani. They’re collaborating with the May12 Women in Maths initiative to offer individuals and groups the chance to stream the movie for free, between now and May 12 (Women in Mathematics Day, and Mirzakhani’s birthday).

To get access, you need to complete this short form, so they can keep track of who’s watching it and where.

via @ErikaKlarreich on Twitter

Math Seminars: a big list of online mathematics talks

One positive effect of the various lock-downs in place around the world is the sudden emergence of massive numbers of online seminars and talks. The site Math Seminars, developed by a team at MIT and currently in beta, holds a list of upcoming one-off talks and seminar series.

John Conway has died

File:John H Conway 2005.jpg
Conway in 2005; photo by Thane Plambeck

Mathematician John Horton Conway, a professor at both the University of Cambridge and Princeton University, and the originator of hundreds of lovely and clever maths things, has died at the age of 82.