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Spot the Ball (he’s the one talking about maths)

Johnny BallTV maths advocate and certified old person Johnny Ball is hoping to stage what will be a record-breaking World’s Largest Maths Lesson, by filling a stadium with kids and talking to them all about maths at the same time. The event will take place on March 19th, during National Science and Engineering week, and will be aimed at 9-13 year olds.

The current world record is 2,981, set in Nigeria in July 2013, and they’re hoping to smash that using Leeds United’s Elland Road stadium (capacity: 39,460) – Johnny Ball himself has stated he’d be happy with “5, 6, 7 or 8,000 kids” (7 kids probably isn’t enough – better shoot for 8,000). The event is being sponsored by Yorkshire-based boiler maintenance company (?!) Help-Link, and is supported by Leeds City Council.

If you’re a maths teacher in Yorkshire, or know anyone who is, tickets are free and you can apply by emailing the organisers. Details are below.

Further reading:

TV legend hosts bid to stage the world’s biggest maths lesson at stadium, at the Yorkshire Evening Post.

Help-Link to break a Guinness World record in 2014, on the Help-Link website.

Help-Link UK’s Giant Maths Lesson with Johnny Ball, on YouTube.

Event flyer (PDF)

National Science and Engineering week.

via Alex Bellos on Twitter

Enormous Sierpiński tetrahedron made of balloons


A group called Pyraloons set themselves the challenge of building the world’s biggest Sierpiński tetrahedron from balloons. And they succeeded! I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves:

All Squared, Number 3: As Easy As…

Remember, remember,
The fourteenth of March.

While the previous number of All Squared failed to achieve topicality by appearing several weeks after the event it was about, this time we’ve hit the nail bang on the head with a podcast all about π day… on π day!

We chatted to Festival of the Spoken Nerd’s Steve Mould about remembering π – how much can you memorise; how much should you memorise; and if you really insist on memorising it, what’s the best way to do it?


World Record Rubik’s Cube Solve

Rubik's Cube world record crowdThis Wednesday, friend of The Aperiodical Matt Parker compered an event at London’s O2 Arena in which the world record for most simultaneous Rubik’s cube solves was smashed by a crowd including schools groups, individuals, maths fans and the UK’s current speedsolving champion, Robert Yau.

The Super Subtraction Feat


How I Unofficially Broke The World Record That Never Was

One of the 70-digit subtraction sums I did for training purposes.

In April, a gentleman called B. Sai Kiran became, briefly, internet-famous for doing arithmetic. In Hyderabad, he subtracted a 70-digit number from another in the barest smidgen over a minute – 60.05 seconds, at the second attempt.