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Holo-Math sounds pretty wild

Any project which manages to make Cédric Villani look even more like a time traveller gets my immediate attention. Look!

HOLO-MATH’s website is short on firm details, but it seems to be something to do with using Microsoft’s HoloLens VR goggle thingies to make interactive VR maths “experiences”. Here’s the blurb:

HOLO-MATH is an international project to produce immersive live experiences in mathematical sciences using the latest mixed reality technology.

It’s the first project to use state of the art technology for scientific knowledge transfer in a museum environment and on a large scale.

The experiences are presented in science museums/centers and at special events. They are targeted at groups of 20 participants led by human guides and virtual avatars. New forms of augmented visualization and interaction are core features. The audio-visual experience is of the highest quality.

In different HOLO-MATH experiences, participants will be able to play, discover, experiment and learn about science history and current research.

There’s more information on holo-math.org, and some pictures of be-goggled guests at the project’s launch on the hashtag #holomath.

Mathematical modelling of Facebook use (video)

Watch mathematician and data scientist Jonny explain mathematical modelling of networks.

Circular reasoning on Catalan numbers

This is a guest post by researcher Audace Dossou-Olory of Stellenbosch University, South Africa.

Consider the following question: How many ways are there to connect $2n$ points on a circle so that each point is connected to exactly one other point?

Save the Further Maths Support Programme

Calculator and A-level maths question

The Further Maths Support Programme is an organisation in the UK that supports students wishing to take an A-level in Further Maths. Since this isn’t offered in all schools and colleges, the Programme helps organise tuition for people who can’t do it through their school, but also encourages students at younger ages to consider taking the A-level through workshops and university visit days. They also run excellent training courses for teachers, and have a number of resources on their website for students and teachers, including problem solving materials, videos, podcasts and maths competitions.

According to a recent blog post by maths teacher Jo Morgan, a government review has made the FMSP’s future precarious. Their funding through the Department for Education will be removed next April, and they’ll be replaced by the “Level 3 Maths Support Programme”. The L3MSP will support Core Maths as well as A level mathematics and further mathematics, but will focus on only certain geographical areas, meaning many will lose access to the resources currently provided.

Two of the programmes previously supported by the same funding have already had their funding stopped – the Core Maths Support Programme, and Underground Maths – but the FMSP hasn’t finished yet, and Jo hopes that by contacting the DfE we could convince the government to continue funding it. As they point out in the blog post, the FMSP has made a huge difference to the numbers of students taking maths and has had a direct impact in classrooms supporting teachers all over the UK.

So what do we do? Start a petition? Tweet the DfE to tell them? Over to you, readers.

More information

Save the FMSP! on Resourceaholic

Ritangle student maths competition open now

Ritangle, a maths competition aimed at A-level and equivalent maths students in the UK, is open for registration. The first set of preliminary questions has already been released, but the main competition starts on 9th November and there’s still time to register a team.

Comprising 21 questions over 21 days, the competition requires no maths beyond A-level and the winning teams gets a hamper and a trophy.

Ritangle website

Petition to update UK traffic signs to use a geometrically plausible football

Terrible signage (photo: The Independent)

Aperiodipal and number ninja, Stand-up Mathematician Matt Parker, has set up a petition on the UK parliament petitions website to change the awful, awful tourist board official symbol for a football ground (US readers: imagine I’m saying ‘soccer stadium’). In Matt’s words:

The football shown on UK street signs (for football grounds) is made entirely of hexagons. But it is mathematically impossible to construct a ball using only hexagons. Changing this to the correct pattern of hexagons and pentagons would help raise public awareness and appreciation of geometry.

Matt holding a football and pointing at the offending signTo end this madness, Matt needs 10,000 signatures for the petition to be responded to by the government (and 100,000 for it to considered for debate in parliament). It’s currently around the 3,000 mark – so it’s plausible that he might do it. It’s also had coverage in The Independent already, and Matt’s YouTube video on the campaign already has over 100,000 views.

To sign, you simply need to be a British citizen or UK resident, and fill in your details on the site (you’ll need a valid postcode). Ban this hexagonal filth!

Update the UK Traffic Signs Regulations to a geometrically correct football, on UK Parliament Petitions

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