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Review: X&Y

If you have ever wanted to see Marcus du Sautoy reduced in size and placed in a laundry bag, then this is the mathematical play for you!

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Some news from the world of capitalism: various maths people have things you can spend money on. Our roving reporters investigate.

Maths on Screen DVDsmaths on screen

 

Maths Inspiration, a maths theatre show which has been touring the country for a few years providing large-scale theatre shows for GCSE and A-Level students, has now released a set of DVDs of a special series of talks, which were filmed earlier this year.

Geometric Unity: phenomenal advance, or crazy theory?

Marcus du Sautoy has this week presented to the world the physics of Eric Weinstein. ‘Geometric Unity’, apparently, argues “that the seemingly baroque features of the standard model of particle physics are in fact inexorable and geometrically natural when generalizations of the Yang-Mills and Dirac theories are unified with one of general relativity”.

Apparently, du Sautoy and Weinstein were postdocs together in the 1990s. Weinstein is a mathematical physicist turned economist who has been working on his these ideas privately for 20 years. Two years ago, he started to explain his thoughts to Marcus in a bar in New York.

Dara O Briain: School of Hard Sums Series 2 starts Wednesday 1st May

Kit Yates tweets to tell us that the second series of Dara O Briain: School of Hard Sums will be shown Wednesdays at 8pm from 1st May on Dave. Kit also makes this bold claim: “I set the problems so let me know if you have feedback”. Pedants, go! That’s @Kit_Yates_Maths on Twitter.

The following promo is available. I notice that YouTube commenter Vergast has left the following considered review: “This is a thing? Aweome!”

More information: Dara O Briain: School of Hard Sums on Dave.

Pi day live, starring Marcus du Sautoy

Since it’s Pi Day in March, and ridiculously there are still people who haven’t spurned π completely in favour of τ, maths/media pixie Marcus Du Sautoy is running a free online event, called Pi Day Live (hashtag: #pidaylive). Since everything is more exciting when it’s happening LIVE, actually and IN REALITY, they’ll be conducting a live experiment, using circle measuring, marble arranging, Buffon-y needle dropping and in some extreme cases, river length approximation to calculate, LIVE, in REAL LIFE, approximations to the value of Pi.

Save the Ri

It’s been in the news this week that the Royal Institution is having financial trouble, and is considering selling its London headquarters at Albemarle Street. The organisation has done a great deal for the popularisation of mathematics over the years, from including mathematics in its series of annual Christmas Lectures (delivered by Christopher Zeeman in 1978, by Ian Stewart in 1997 and Marcus Du Sautoy in 2006) as well as running an excellent series of mathematics and engineering masterclasses for primary and secondary schools, since 1981. They also have a dedicated maths team, who post maths resources on the Ri website.

Professor Sir Harry Kroto, a Nobel laureate in chemistry, has started a blog called “Save the Ri” and posted a highly outraged open letter calling on interested parties to “make it clear to the Government and others in positions of responsibility that we are outraged by the decision to put the premises up for sale”. He’s also posted a statement outlining the situation, and indicating his support of the ‘Save 21 Albemarle Street’ campaign, on Facebook and Twitter.

UPDATE: MP Valerie Vaz has tabled an Early Day Motion in Parliament about this, although it currently only has 9 signatures. There’s also an e-petition, calling for the government to purchase the building and let the Ri stay there permanently.

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