To celebrate 14th March (π day), MathsCity in Leeds is hosting a competition to celebrate everyone’s favourite geometrical shape whose circumference is π times its diameter: the circle.
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A few weeks ago, we announced a competition to design some fractal bunting, without giving too much of a particular guide as to what we were looking for, in order to spark people’s creativity and get them making (or imagining) some lovely mathematical decorations with which to festoon things. We had a large range of types of entry, and it’s given us some inspiration for how we might (infinitely) brighten up the place.
Since we know much more about fractals than we do about design, we asked illustrator Hana Ayoob to help judge the entries on their aesthetic merit, and here we present some of our favourite entries, along with the announcement of the winner.
Since people might be looking for something distracting they can do at home around now, we’re running another fun competition to keep you occupied – much like our π-ku poetry competition in July, we’re looking for anyone who has a spare slice of brain to come up with a design for our fractal bunting competition.
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.
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!
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.
Alan Turing Cryptography Competition
Ten days ago we posted a cryptogram puzzle, set by mathematician and author Josh Holden. We’ve had a number of entries, some which were so enthusiastic they ignored that we’d said to email them in and tried to post in the comments. However, from the correctly submitted entries, we had one stand-out winner – a quick reply, with a detailed description of the solution and a worthy recipient of a copy of The Mathematics of Secrets. Here’s Josh’s explanation of the puzzle, for anyone who hasn’t cracked it yet.