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QEPrize’s Month of Making

The Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering celebrates innovation in engineering with an annual prize awarded to some of the world’s top engineers. Starting today, the QEPrize YouTube channel will be hosting a Month of Making, with a video each day supplied by a different STEM person (including some mathematicians!), encouraging you to make, instead of buy, at least one Christmas present this year.

The month has been organised by physics teacher and STEM communicator Alom Shaha (who recently featured on our Mathematical Objects podcast). Alom says:

I want other people to experience the joy I find in “making” by encouraging them to make stuff for the people in their lives. Christmas feels like the perfect time to do this and, with the help of the people behind the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, I’ve somehow managed to recruit a bunch of incredibly creative and talented people to share some ideas for things you could make. Over the course of the next month or so, from 15 November to 12 December, we’ll be publishing a series of videos with simple instructions for making a range of gifts, from simple machines to pieces of jewellery.

There’s also a competition running to win a copy of Alom’s book, Mr Shaha’s Marvellous Machines, for anyone who makes one of the suggested gifts and shares a photo or video of it with the hashtag #AMonthOfMaking.

More information

QEPrize Supports ‘A Month of Making’ for more sustainable Christmas presents (press release)

Month of Making website: qeprize.org/a-month-of-making

Month of Making playlist on the QEPrize YouTube channel

Mathematical Objects: Christmas crackers

Mathematical Objects

A conversation about mathematics inspired by a box of Christmas crackers. Presented by Katie Steckles and Peter Rowlett. Merry Christmas!

Christmas crackers
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Donald Knuth’s 2017 Christmas lecture: “A Conjecture That Had To Be True”

Every year, Donald Knuth gives a Christmas lecture at Stanford.

This year, he wanted to talk about a conjecture he’s recently investigated.

It’s just over an hour long. Sit down with a warm drink and enjoy some interesting recreational maths from the master.

Mathematical advent calendar 2016 roundup

There seem to be a bumper list of mathematical advent calendars this year, even though the stellar efforts of Katie and Christian’s Aperiodvent Calendar 2015 aren’t being repeated. There aren’t yet enough for an advent calendar with a different mathematical advent calendar behind each door, so we thought a straight round up was the way to go.

GCHQ Christmas puzzles winners and solutions announced

GCHQ nonogram puzzle

The first puzzle is a super-fun 25×25 nonogram puzzle

Before Christmas, the benign megasurveillance bods at GCHQ released a set of festive puzzles, in the form of a Christmas card and associated website. An initial nonogram puzzle led to a sequence of increasingly fiendish teasers, and solvers of the final set of puzzles were invited to email in their answers, with the correctest winning a fancy paperweight, signed book and, GCHQ were at pains to stress, not an Imitation-Game-style secret job offer.

Video: Mathematical Christmas Present Wrapping

If you were wondering what happened with all the left-over wrapping paper from this morning’s post about wallpaper groups, Katie has made a YouTube video demonstrating some mathematical quirks of gift wrapping. Enjoy!

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