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Steckles on QI!

Katie Steckles talking to Sandi Toksvig on QI

Our Katie was on BBC Two last night! As part of the QI Christmas special, Katie told that old chestnut about infinitely many mathematicians walking into a bar.

Viewers in the UK can see the show on the iPlayer; Katie’s segment starts about 12 minutes in.

Statistics of the year 2018

2018 Statistics of the year

The second annual Royal Statistical Society ‘statistics of the year’ have been announced. The Guardian reports that these include top prize for “90.5%, the proportion of plastic waste that has never been recycled”, and that other statistics awarded or commended involve Jaffa Cakes, poverty, gender equality, climate change and someone called Kylie Jenner. The RSS says “the Statistics of the Year aim to show the sometimes surprising stories that numbers can tell us about the world”.

Statistic of the year from the RSS.

Environment, Jaffa Cakes and Kylie Jenner star in statistics of year, at The Guardian.

Byrne’s Euclid recreated for the web

This is astonishing. Designer and ‘data geek’ Nicholas Rougeux has painstakingly recreated all six books of Oliver Byrne’s Euclid on the web, following the original as closely as possible while adding links between propositions and even making the diagrams interactive.

Registration for 2019 Alan Turing Cryptography Competition and MathsBombe is open

The Alan Turing Cryptography Competition, now in its 7th year, is an online competition run by the University of Manchester School of Mathematics, for school students up to year 11 or equivalent. Cryptographic puzzles are released every couple of weeks and teams of up to four compete to solve the puzzles, with prizes for the fastest and other randomly selected correct entries. Registrations are open now, and the competition starts on 28th January 2019.

For sixth form pupils, there is also MathsBombe – an online competition, with two mathematical puzzles released every fortnight. The puzzles are not directly related to the A-Level syllabus but will require students to use their problem-solving skills.

Further information

Alan Turing Cryptography Competition
MathsBombe

Here are the mathematicians you nominated to go on the new £50 note

The Bank of England has released a preliminary list of names nominated by the public to appear on the new £50 note. I’ve done a bit of analysis on the list, and present here my findings.

To recap: the Bank asked for nominations satisfying the following conditions:

  • have contributed to the field of science
  • be real – so no fictional characters please
  • not be alive – Her Majesty the Queen is the only exception
  • have shaped thought, innovation, leadership or values in the UK
  • inspire people, not divide them

The released list consists of the names that were nominated in the first week, and belong to people who are real, deceased, and contributed to science ‘in any way’. They haven’t divulged the number of times each name was nominated, or the ineligible names.

Rachel Riley admits she can’t do maths (but not really)

Eagle-eyed Riley-botherers on Twitter may have noticed this video Rachel tweeted on Saturday:

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