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‘All that glitters is not golden’: a Fibonacci Day Roundup

Golden ratio cake, from was 23/11, also known in some parts as 11/23, and you may recognise this as being a date made of the first four Fibonacci numbers. (Such numerical date-based Fibonacci coincidences haven’t been as exciting since 5/8/13, but at least this is one we can celebrate annually.) This meant that mathematicians everywhere got excited about #FibonacciDay, and spent the day talking about the amazing sequence. Here’s a round-up of some of the best bits, so you can celebrate Fibonacci day in style.

Martin Gardner Testimonials

21 October 2014 is the centenary of the birth of Martin Gardner, the supreme populariser of mathematics (amongst much else) who sadly passed in 2010. Those behind the Martin Gardner Centennial website and associated Twitter account @MGardner100th are collecting testimonials from people inspired by his work.

What does his extensive written legacy mean to you? Are you one of the many who can say things like “I only read Scientific American for Martin’s column” or “The reason I became a [insert profession/hobby here] is because of Martin”?

We’d love you to submit your comments here please. Feel free to say a little about yourself; if you taught physics for 27 years, tell us. If you are an artist or puzzle maker, or a student of computer science or psychology or linguistics, let us know. If you were lucky enough to correspond with or meet the great man, share your story. If you’ve already written elsewhere about Martin’s influence on you, please don’t be shy about giving details (web links, etc). If you’re a well-known author yourself, who knew Martin, please chime in too. Martin didn’t care if his sources or correspondents were amateurs or professionals, and we’re equally broadminded. We actively seek a good cross-section of comments, but we don’t mind repetition either. So many people have similar stories to tell, and we want them all.

Currently testimonials include Keith Devlin (testimonial #29), Cliff Pickover (#24), George Hart (#9), Max Maven (#3), John Allen Paulos (#30) and Colm Mulcahy (#7).

The website says all submissions will be posted following review. Testimonials can be submitted via the website or by email to

More information

Martin Gardner Testimonials.

For more about Martin Gardner, listen to the All Squared interview with Colm Mulcahy.

Via John Read on Twitter, who submitted testimonial #38.

Review: Wuzzit Trouble

Wuzzit Trouble screenshot

Only you can save the Wuzzit! Screenshot courtesy of Innertube Games.

Had Wuzzit Trouble been around in 2001, when I was teaching Diophantine equations… well, there wouldn’t have been an iPhone to play it on, and it would probably have been too graphically-intensive for the computers available at the time. However, I’m willing to bet fewer of my students would have fallen asleep in class.

Registration opens for second run of Keith Devlin’s MOOC

If you were interested in Keith Devlin’s Massively Open Online Course (MOOC) Introduction to Mathematical Thinking in the autumn but heard about it too late, didn’t have time to take part, or signed up but couldn’t keep on top of the course, you may be pleased to hear that Keith has announced plans for the course to run again from 4th March 2013 for 10 weeks. This is longer than the seven week course which started in September.

Keith Devlin’s 5-week survey of maths course is on YouTube

Keith Devlin making the invisible visible

Keith Devlin, of enormous maths MOOC fame, tweeted that his survey course Mathematics: Making the Invisible Visible is now available on YouTube. Until now, it had only been available through iTunes University.

The course consists of five two-hour lectures, delivered over five weeks. Like Keith’s MOOC, it’s an “intro to maths for grown-ups” course to get people engaged in the subject.

Often described as the science of patterns, mathematics is arguably humanity’s most penetrating mental framework for uncovering the hidden patterns that lie behind everything we see, feel, and experience. Galileo described mathematics as the language in which the laws of the universe are written. Intended to give a broad overview of the field, these five illustrated lectures look at counting and arithmetic, shape and geometry, motion and calculus, and chance and probability, and end with a mind-stretching trip to infinity.

Mathematics: Making the Invisible Visible on YouTube.

A trailer for Keith Devlin’s Intro to Mathematical Thinking MOOC

Keith Devlin has recorded a 3-minute video advertising his Introduction to Mathematical Thinking MOOC on Coursera.

In this, Keith explains the aims of the course, which includes elements seen previously on his MOOC Talk blog, and discusses the structure of the course and a little about the MOOC concept.

According to a tweet from Keith on 27 August, over 33,600 students have registered for the course since registration opened in July. The course starts on the 17th of September.

More info: Introduction to Mathematical Thinking on Coursera