I have two simple rules for deciding whether a popular maths book is Any Good. Firstly: does it teach me something I didn’t know? And secondly: does it entertain me when treading ground I’m familiar with?

# The Maths of Life and Death – The God Equation

Aperiodicolleague Kit Yates has recently had a new book out: The Maths of Life and Death. He’s kindly agreed to share a sample chapter with us, explaining the God Equation: it’s used by NICE to decide whether to fund new drugs. In my new book, The Maths of Life and Death, I explore the true…

# High definition

We asked #bigmathoff competitor Lucy Rycroft-Smith to tell us a little about her latest project – CM Define It, an app aiming to collect and define mathematical vocabulary, which launches today. When you teach mathematical vocabulary, how do you define its meaning? Are you exact, choosing your words specifically? Do you give a written definition? …

# MathsJam’s “Back of an Envelope” Fermi Challenge

Aperiodipal and MathsJam regular Rob Eastaway organised an inter-MathsJam competition for last month’s events, challenging Jams to make Fermi estimates on the back of an envelope. The prize was a copy of his new book, Maths on the Back of an Envelope. Here Rob gives a summary of the entries he received, and shares his…

# Carnival of Mathematics 174

This month’s Carnival of Mathematics is hosted here, at The Aperiodical. The Carnival rounds up maths blog posts from all over the internet, and this month we’ve reached the heady heights of number 174.

# International Day of Mathematics

The UNESCO Executive Board decided in October 2018 to endorse a recommendation, coordinated by the International Mathematical Union, to proclaim an International Day of Mathematics on 14th March each year. This recommendation is on the agenda for the UNESCO General Conference in November 2019 an, if adopted, will have its first official celebration on 14th March 2020, where the proposed theme is ‘Mathematics is Everywhere‘.

Preparations in anticipation for the adoption seem to be heating up, with a publicity drive underway. The IDM website says it will share free materials, projects, ideas and software, as well as a map of worldwide events and gatherings, all in multiple languages and under open licenses. You can sign up for a “one or two emails per month at most” mailing list to keep informed.

More information: The IMU wants to make π Day the International Day of Mathematics (October 2018).

# Wikithon for diversity in mathematics

Next Tuesday, October 8th, UCL Mathematics is hosting a Wikithon in celebration of Ada Lovelace Day from 5-7pm. The theme is Diversity in Mathematics, and the aim is to write Wikipedia articles about mathematicians from under-represented groups. The session will be led by Dr Jess Wade BEM (Imperial College, Physics) and Dr Alice White (Wellcome Trust).

Jess Wade was appointed BEM earlier this year for services to Gender Diversity in Science.

If you want to participate, you are asked to bring a laptop – pizza will be provided. You are asked to register (for free) for catering reasons.