James Grime has come out in support of the campaign to put Alan Turing on the £10 note. He explains about this in a new video.

[youtube url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHko_-QKrFY]

James Grime has come out in support of the campaign to put Alan Turing on the £10 note. He explains about this in a new video.

[youtube url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHko_-QKrFY]

The “Futurama theorem”, also known as *Keeler’s Theorem* after its creator, was a bit of maths invented for the Futurama episode *The Prisoner of Benda,* to solve a problem where the characters get their heads mixed up and need to swap them back without any one pair swapping heads twice. It was enthusiastically reported by the geeky press, and rightly so, because it’s a fun bit of real maths with a wonderful application. Dana Ernst has written some very good slides about the theorem, working from “what is a permutation?” up to the algorithm itself.

Anyway, some students from the University of California, San Diego have extended the result, giving a better algorithm for finding the minimum number of switches to put everyone’s head back in the right places, give optimal solutions for two particular situations, and give necessary and sufficient conditions for it being possible to represent the identity permutation as $m$ distinct transpositions in $S_n$.

Paper: http://arxiv.org/abs/1204.6086

via James Grime

James Grime has written an all-new talk, titled “Alan Turing and the Enigma Machine”, which he’ll be delivering 5:30-6:30 on Tuesday the 12th of June at the Centre for Mathematical Sciences, Clarkson Road, Cambridge.

Alan Turing was one of our great 20th century mathematicians, and a pioneer of computer science. However, he may best be remembered as one of the leading code breakers of Bletchley Park during World War II. It was Turing’s brilliant insights and mathematical mind that helped to break Enigma, the apparently unbreakable code used by the German military. We present a history of both Alan Turing and the Enigma, leading up to this fascinating battle of man against machine – including a full demonstration of an original WWII Enigma Machine!

You can find more details of the event on the Millennium Mathematics Project site.

James Grime, of the Enigma project and guest editor of the February 2012 code month at Nrich, has posted a code breaking challenge on his YouTube channel singingbanana. The prize is a signed copy of Simon Singh’s The Code Book. You can get the ciphertext to decrypt along with a couple of clues presented with James’ trademark charm in the video singingbanana code challenge 2012. The winner and solution will be announced in March.

(Edited 11:28 to add link to Nrich Codes and Ciphers – February 2012 page.)