## You're reading: Posts Tagged: mathmathspodcast

### One half of one percent of your time

If I gave you 200 tokens representing your available time this week, would you spend one of them on listening to the Math/Maths Podcast?

John Read tweeted, on the occasion of our 100th episode/2nd birthday of Math/Maths, that:

to hear all 100 of them within 2 years ≈ 0.6% of the time listening.

This is an interesting thought, though a crude calculation based on 100 hours divided into two years.

According to an audio player I just loaded all 100 mp3 files into, the combined length of Math/Maths Podcast episodes to date is 3 days 14 hours 51 minutes. This is 3.619 days (or 86.85 hours, if you prefer).

I asked Wolfram Alpha for the number of days from 7 June 2010 (episode 1) to 9 June 2012 (episode 100): 733 days.

That means that if you listened to episode 1 and episode 100 when they were released, and all other 98 episodes in between, then you spent about 0.4937% of your time listening to us.

If you discovered us later and listened to each episode released since, then you can guess that you spent an approximately similar proportion since the episode lengths haven’t changed markedly. If you discovered us later and went back through the back catalogue, of course, the proportion of your time you have spent on the Math/Maths Podcast since you started listening is even greater.

So if you’re a regular listener then we can say that you spend nearly one half of one percent of your time listening to Samuel and I ramble on about mathematics news. (Equivalently, nearly one half of one percent of my time is spent talking to Samuel!)

Depressing thought, eh?

(P.S. Of course, we’re nothing special. Anything that you do every week that takes one hour is consuming 0.6% of your available time. It shouldn’t be, but somehow seeing it spelled out like this seems surprising. I hope we’re worth it!)

(P.P.S. my time token analogy at the start of this post doesn’t work, of course, if you do anything else at all while listening. Shhh!)

### Topics from the second year of the Math/Maths Podcast

A year ago I compiled a list of topics we had covered on the first year of the Math/Maths Podcast. This was ahead of the first anniversary and 50th episode. Yesterday is two years since the release of episode 1 and tomorrow we will record episode 100, so I’m repeating the task for our second year.

Now we’re at our 100th episode, we’d love to hear your memories of the podcast’s second year. You can tweet @peterrowlett, @Samuel_Hansen or email us both.

50: 1st Birthday Spectacular! A special, live streamed 1st birthday episode of the podcast that offers a conversation about mathematics between the UK and USA from Pulse-Project.org. This week Samuel and Peter looked back on the year, pitted special guests James Clare and Dan Hagon in a Math/Maths year 1 quiz and briefly covered some news: Abel Prize awarded to John Milnor in Oslo; Wave ‘invisibility cloak’ could shield coastlines; Possible Collatz Conjecture Proof; Students set ‘impossible’ maths question demand new exam; and more. Also remember you heard it here first: Your help is needed to fund ‘Relatively Prime: Stories from the Mathematical Domain’, a podcast project by Samuel Hansen.
51: What’s your favoUrite number? Due to Peter being ill, this week the pair spoke only briefly to introduce Samuel talking to Alex Bellos about his favourite number project and Colin Murphy about the Pulse-Project call for Expert Explanations. Plus an update on Relatively Prime.
52: World’s Smallest Klein Bottle. Developing mathematical thinking; early math lessons change children’s brains; Formulas for the perfect cup of tea and the perfect golf putt; university dropout rates tied to preparedness, not laziness; ACME Mathematical Needs; Mapping Galaxy clusters; $500,000 for mathematician who laid Poincaré groundwork; Ten signs a claimed mathematical breakthrough is wrong; Peter Hall accepts Guy Medal; Math Cats; 30 years of Ri Maths Masterclasses; World’s Smallest Klein Bottle; Jordan will sum it up for UK at maths Olympiad; Maths in the City competition winners; Statistical excellence award winners; latest on Relatively Prime; new Monthly MathsJam meetings; and more. 53: There was a young man from MMU. This week Samuel and Peter revisited Maths in the City and Favourite numbers with special guest Christian Perfect; Peter caught up with Ben Nuttall at the European Study Group with Industry in Limerick and Samuel and Peter spoke about: Google Correlate; Buffon’s Needle & other probabilistic experiments; An easy-to-make sequence that fooled random number checkers; Matching pennies; Whether Math Teachers need advanced subject knowledge; 20 Most Influential Scientists Alive Today; Mathematics Genealogy Project; Tennis maths; and more. 54: A nice slice of Tau. Tau day (Pi under attack from an underground movement); Rubik’s cubes of any size can now be solved; Michael Gove speaks to the Royal Society on maths and science; Charlie Stripp & the Further Mathematics Support Programme; Stephen Curry: Numb or Numbered; The longlist for the 2011 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books; Princeton researchers solve problem filling space — without cubes; Mathematically ranking ranking methods; Cracked Mathematicians; Miniature ‘knot lab’ could help untangle DNA mystery; Data Mining the Monthly’s Greatest Hits; Second thoughts result in payout; Samuel Hansen at MathFuture; Maths at the East Midlands Big Bang Fair (Solving it like a mathematician); Developing mathematical thinking through problems, puzzles and games; and more. 55: Who discovered it? special. This week, for a non-topical episode, Samuel and Peter got an update from Ben Nuttall about his week in Ireland and then spoke about multiple discoveries and scientific priority disputes, covering: examples of multiple discoveries; Stigler’s law; Standing on the shoulders of giants; polymath and more. Oh, and they touch on Newton/Leibnitz. 56: The unplanned impact of mathematics. This week Samuel and Peter spoke with special guest Edmund Harriss about The unplanned impact of mathematics and the 14th Early Career Mathematicians Conference, and with each other about: Neptune’s birthday; Journalists statistical skills; The Queen at Bletchley Park; A court ruling on the legal meaning of ‘strictly random’; The UK National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics: past, present and future; US State Education Rankings: The Best And Worst For Math And Science; New Math in HIV Fight; MU Psychology Study Finds Key Early Skills for Later Math Learning; The man who proved that everyone is good at maths; Virginia Tech wins big at RoboCup 2011, Britain suffers early defeat; John Barrow wins IMA-LMS Christopher Zeeman Medal; Google+; and more. 57: Support Relatively Prime! This week Peter asked Samuel about Relatively Prime – you only have days left to support this fundraising effort. Then they spoke to special guest Tony Mann about a recent major conference in history and philosophy of mathematics and special guest Katie Steckles about handing in her PhD, being a mathematician at a children’s birthday party and attending the BIG conference. Finally, Peter and Samuel spoke to each other about: The unplanned impact of maths: an update; The International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO); The answer to a 20 year old problem in optimisation; Portugal’s New Education Ministers Mathematical Background; Chua Wins Australia’s Neumann Award; Maths at the British Science Festival; Ri grants for schools for mathematics enrichment activity; IMA e-student (free signup); Marcus du Sautoy’s The Code; Sam’s thesis; and more. 58: The Code Has You. This week, with only hours left for you to donate to Samuel’s Kickstarter project Relatively Prime, Samuel and Peter spoke with special guest Julia Collins about her new mathematics blogs ‘What’s on my blackboard?’ and ‘The Mathematician’s Shirts’, and with each other about: The Code, mathematics communication and the place of science and mathematics in society; Game Design Engages Students in STEM; Mathematical Sleepaway Camp; The Wrongulator; Longshot Magazine; and more. 59: Sam Hansen, raconteur. Relatively Prime is Funded; Ultimate Logic: To Infinity and Beyond; Increased maths and data in marketing; Math Can Predict Insurgent Attacks, Physicist Says; The Code episode 2; Perspectives in Math and Art; ‘Perfect cipher’ dates back to telegraphs, 35 years prior to being invented; Google sends Street View trikes to Bletchley Park; Turing’s Handrawn Monopoly Board; Eat, Prey Rain; Broken Lotteries; The Unreasonable Beauty of Mathematics [Slide Show]; and more. 60: A world-class mathematics podcast for ALL our listeners? the Vorderman report on maths education “A world-class mathematics education for ALL our young people”; 7 Questions You Didn’t Know Could Be Answered With Math; Standard & Poor’s responds to proposals for stronger oversight; ‘Haircuts’ identified as a cause of financial crisis; All US Competitors Win Medals at 2011 China Girls Math Olympiad; People are ‘born bad at maths’; ‘Lucky’ woman who won lottery four times outed as Stanford University statistics PhD; and more, and were joined by special guest Edmund Harriss to discuss an interesting set of mathematical structures and images, including: The Circle Group; Klein Bottle; 120 Cell; Penrose Tiling; Hopf Fibration; Six-Particle Choreography; Byrne’s Euclid; Sangaku; Fano Plane; Game of Life. 61: The Math/Maths Effect. A-level results and the ‘Brian Cox effect’; AMS Election and Fellows Proposal; arXiv at 20; 13 year old makes Solar Power breakthrough by harnessing the Fibonacci Sequence; Meet Beau: The maths genius dog who can add, subtract and do square roots… as long as he gets a biscuit in return; Hyenas can count like monkeys; Hard Math is Patentable; Detexify; they talk to special guest Matt Parker from SciFoo and special guest Katie Steckles about Everything and nothing: a new research performance project exploring the possible shapes of the universe; and they introduce their over-hyped new project Second-Rate Minds. 62: The linearity of deliciousness. GCSE results; Google’s Eric Schmidt criticises education in the UK; Harvard study says poverty doesn’t explain away low American math scores; LHC results put supersymmetry theory ‘on the spot’; Women sparse in math, science fields; Science reporting – ready to come of age?; How to Fix Our Math Education; The Wrath Against Khan: Why Some Educators Are Questioning Khan Academy; First instalment of the eagerly awaited results to the pizza survey; Met Office Weather game. Afterwards, Peter spoke to special guest Tony Mann about cereal bars and the linearity of deliciousness. 63: How Mushy Is Your Singing Banana? This week Samuel and Peter were both on the road and special guest Christian Perfect stepped in to make the recording possible (thanks Christian!). They spoke about: Using Fractals to Determine if a Banana is Mushy; Government funding of research and outreach; Debt Ceiling Deal: The Case for Caving; Tony Sale obituary from special guest James Grime; The Greatest Problems Facing Math Departments?; Earth stalker found in eternal twilight; Perfecting Your Math Skills on the Road; Archimedean molecule creates brand new compounds; Advice for New Students; What’s the chance of being disqualified for a false start? and more. 64: Worse than Albania! Commemorative Calculus; Olympic sculpture is a marvel of mathematics; Enigma Docs Revealed; Prize awarded for largest mathematical proof; Shamos Catalog of Real Numbers; People are ‘born bad at maths’ reprised; Math Gender Gap: Nurture Trumps Nature; We’re worse than Albania: Maths and science schools shocker; Sums tables ‘not needed for maths success’; Oprah/Opera 111 Email; Students’ weakness in maths leaves academics counting the cost; The Mathematics of Number Plate Spotting; Dara O Briain to host Dave maths series; numerous competitions you can enter and events you can attend. 65: Animatronic Bertrand Russell. data capacity in biochemical cell signals; how Ashton Cooper learned to love the Museum of Mathematics; how early numbers skill predicts later math ability, yet again; experiments with ‘Predictive Policing’ in Santa Cruz; irreproducibility of published scientific results; MIT Math Prize for Girls; what was said on Big Science FM; Samuel’s first post on Second-Rate Minds; and more. 66. Sarah Shepherd has died. This week’s episode is just a quick note in which Peter explains the part Sarah played in the ancestry of this podcast. 67: Starlings, Quants and Virtual Monkeys. With half the recording, alas, lost, this week Samuel and Peter spoke about: Tim Harford’s New ways with old numbers; Letter to the prime minister on the future of mathematics in the UK; Penrose Letter to Aiko Hizume; the Magic of Flocks of Starlings; Quant Trading, or How Math Whizzes Helped Sink The Economy; Virtual monkeys write Shakespeare. 68: Danger, James Grime! Enigma machine sells for world record price; Bletchley Park Trust Secures Grant For The Restoration but needs your help to get it; Quasicrystals and other Nobel Prize news; Court rules against use of Bayes’ Theorem; Novel math formula predicts success of certain cancer therapies; Incentives for Advanced Work Let Pupils and Teachers Cash In; Celebrate Ada Lovelace day with Plus; Crystals of Mt Zeta; Math Genius Snubs Academy of Sciences; Math Girls is Glee for Math Nerds; and more. 69: Serious Confetti. This week Samuel and Peter spoke with special guest Sharon Evans about the IMA early career activities and how you can help her by answering a question, and then to each other about: Leonardo DiCaprio tipped to play Alan Turing; ‘Jewish’ Math Problems; Nobel Economics prize; The futile predictions of the pointless ‘science’ of economics; Model of Language Incorporates Need for Repetition; Studying Random Structures With Confetti; Adorable Fractal Analysis; Benford’s Law Resurgence?; Best High Schools for Math and Science; Dr Maths in Ireland; and more. 70: Giants, apocalypse and faster than light travel. Harold Camping Oct. 21 Rapture; What does a majority mean?; man who ordered a size 14.5 slipper but got a size 1,450; 10 trillion digits of pi; Faster than light neutrino update; Twitter health trends; Capitalist network; Fashion brands suggest ‘girls are bad at math’; Garden of Cosmic Speculation; London and Manchester Science Festivals, Irish Maths Week and the international Gathering for Gardner Celebration of Mind; PBS Kids Educational Games; NYC water towers; and more. 71: Halloween Fruit Special. David Lynch, maths and art; Agreement to tie kilogram, ampere, kelvin, and mole to fundamentals; special guest appearance from James Grime to talk Chris Evans Breakfast Show, BBC2 Code-Breakers documentary, a new YouTube channel “Numberphile” and corduroy appreciation; Cantor Eggs; Bobbing apples; Experimental mathematics with computing; Spectral analysis; Cancer screening; EPSRC ‘shaping capabilities’; and more. 72: 7 Billion People Flipping Pancakes. This week Samuel joined Peter direct from rainy Barcelona and the pair spoke about: “7 Billionth Person”; Pancake Flipping is NP-Hard; The World’s Ugliest Music; Internet ‘weighs the same as a strawberry’; 9 Equations True Geeks Should (at Least Pretend to) Know; Harold Camping Apologizes For Faulty Rapture Predictions And Retires; Why Science Majors Change Their Minds (It’s Just So Darn Hard); James Yorke The Many Aspects of Chaos; Alan Turing play ‘Breaking the Code’ in Oxford; Four Nations Maths Challenge; NSPCC: Number Day 2011; Ramanujan film ‘The First Class Man’; MAA Celebrates Women’s History Month; The BSHM Neumann Prize 2011; Grierson award joy for The Joy of Stats; and much more. 73: Live at Maths Jam Conference 2011. Peter and Samuel were joined by special guests Matt Parker, James Grime, Katie Steckles and Julia Collins, with contributions from Dan Hagon, John Read, Ben Sparks and Jamie Stuart-Smith. They spoke about: Professor McOwan awarded Mountbatten Medal; A Synthetic Molecular Pentafoil Knot; everything and nothing: a performance project exploring the possible shapes of the universe; YouTube bids to cash in on TV maths’ popularity with Numberphile; Dara O Briain’s School of Hard Sums; the Maths Jam Conference; and more. 74: Live at Kingswood School. algorithmic game theory; Babbage’s Analytical Engine; Leonardo da Vinci’s formula for tree growth and why it works; 11.11am on 11.11.11; Maths gear; The Olympic Torch Tour; Guinness world-record 17x17x17 Rubik’s cube; and more. 75: Play Dough Manifolds. This week Samuel and Peter spoke with special guest Katie Steckles about the everything and nothing workshop videos, with special guest James Grime about Britain’s Greatest Codebreaker, a Turing pardon e-petition and the Alan Turing fetish, and with each other about: the first time a perfect hand of cards has been dealt in the history of the game; Applying math to biology ‘nets’ success; Mathematics Today expressed in ‘Science in Parliament’; Number of adults in England with poor numeracy rising; Mathematics at the Transition to University; some advent calendars and other Christmas links; and more. 76: Hot Matrix Algebra News. Facebook’s ‘3.74 degrees of separation’; Matrix algebra news; Network Theory of Basketball; Calculators in primary school; Google Shows Some Love to Math Lovers; GCHQ spy recruitment code solved, would-be spies directed to £25,000 job vacancy; Introductory Calculus for Infants; Fibonacci Scarf; Straight Statistics merges with Full Fact; EPSRC Mathematical Sciences fellowships update; Physics and mathematics teachers; Princess in a Castle news; and more. 77: See Isaac Newton Think. Google donates £550,000 to help accomplish Bletchley Park restoration vision; GCHQ CanYouCrackIt Solution explained; 2012 MAA Award Winners; Higgs Boson betting; Microlives; David Spiegelhalter on Wipeout; Newton Papers; Mayans ‘did not predict world to end in 2012’; There Really is no Difference Between Men and Women’s Math Abilities; Beyond Journals; New Mathematics Matters; Correlation or Causation; 50 proofs to read before you die; Quaternions by the Royal Canal; and more. 78: Researchers and the Media Special. This week is a special episode with Samuel and Peter speaking to mathematician Kevin Houston about his experience at the centre of the media storm around Tau day and statistician Nathan Green about his time as a BSA Media Fellow with the Guardian. Two researchers with very different experiences of interacting with the media. 79: Review of the year – 1811. In a traditional move for the start of January we attempt a review of the year. In an untraditional move, we choose the year 1811. Samuel and Peter weren’t able to speak directly because of the ongoing tension following American independence and the brewing Anglo-American war of 1812, but they cover some mathematical hot topics and the work of several contemporary mathematicians, including Carl Friedrich Gauss, Joseph Fourier, Mary Sommerville, Joseph-Louis Lagrange, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Siméon Denis Poisson and Marie-Sophie Germain, plus the tale of a mathematician born this year: Évariste Galois. 80: Eigenvector Pigeons, Fractal Mail and Alien Quasicrystals. breakthrough in Sudoku Puzzle; Ultra-Compact Dwarf Galaxies Are Bright Star Clusters; Fractal Dimension of Zip Codes; Nobel prizewinning quasicrystal fell from space; Slumlord Social Networks; The peculiar physics of crumpled paper; Mathematics of Lego; Animals That Can Count Update: Pigeons!; Stephen Hawking at 70; Banach-Tarski!; New Year Honours; Alan Turing stamp; How to inject creativity into your maths lessons; and more. 81: Coincidence, or Moriarty? Cambridge Coincidences Collection; Tiger bush; Alan Turing Centenary Cryptography Competition; Pasta Graduates from Alphabet Soup to Advanced Geometry; Sherlock Holmes averts world war using mathematics; The Perfect Dartboard; The readers’ editor on… the trouble with numbers in Guardian reporting; Domain; What is mathematics? and more. 82: Skynet Gains Approximate Number Sense. Herb Wilf Memorium; Gowers & Elsevier; Math-Blind AI Teaches Itself Numbers; The Future of Statistics in our Schools and Colleges; Cartels are Emergent Phenomenon; Évariste Galois is Andrew Miller’s hero; MIT Math Bee Creates Campus Star; Ian Stewart’s top 10 popular mathematics books; Lonely Planet; Touching the Crocheted Clouds; Figshare; Four Squares game; and more. 83: Pac-Man is NP-Hard. Pac-Man is NP-Hard; How to learn to love maths; The Gender Gap in Maths; The Mathematician’s Shirts photos; Algorithmic Education; Mathematics World UK Launch; Neighbourly Advice; Vision for science and mathematics education 5–19; Approximating the Hilbert Curve with 3-D Printers; Elsevier & The Cost of Knowledge revisited; Turing Centenary Events; Science Sparring Society’s First Fight. 84: A p-curious Nerd. This week Peter spoke with special guest Matt Parker about Festival Of The Spoken Nerd, Your Days Are Numbered, use of the word ‘geek’ and the Telegraph Numeracy campaign, and with Samuel, live from the streets of New York City, spoke about: superbowl math; The Crafoord Prize; John Leech MP says Alan Turing should be pardoned; singingbanana code challenge 2012; Non-transitive Grime Dice; Facebook-type Mathematics networking site; Torus Games & more. 85: Scientists vs. Investment Bankers. Every odd integer larger than 1 is the sum of at most five primes; No pardon for Alan Turing; more super bowl math; Early results from the Met Office weather game; Trends in Race/Ethnicity and Gender Representation in the Mathematical Sciences; Wolfram|Alpha Pro; more on Elsevier boycott; & more. 86: Complex Pony Tails. The Recent Difficulties with RSA; Do we need a maths museum?; Brian Schmidt’s Mathematical Arguement; IBM claims most PhD mathematicians in its employ; Maths grads teaching alert; John Nash’s Letters to the NSA; The mathematical equation that caused the banks to crash; Rapunzel’s Number: Science behind ponytail revealed; EPSRC Shaping Capabilities; Maths Jam; & more. 87: Faulty Cables, Ridiculous Buses & Intergalactic Steroids. Samuel’s ridiculous bus trip; Computer programmes with IQ 150; IBM’s Watson and data analytics; Extracting Dynamical Equations from Experimental Data is NP-Hard; OPERA faster-than-light neutrinos experiment UPDATE 23 February 2012; ‘Invisibility’ cloak could protect buildings from earthquakes; How Bots Seized Control of Carlos Bueno’s Pricing Strategy; Calculus: The Musical!; Who says ‘maths curriculum failing to meet the needs of the 21st century’?; Turing Stamp; & more, and Peter spoke to some of the team behind Maths in the City on the occasion of their inaugural London walking tour. Oh, and Samuel forgot to mention Science Sparring Society’s second fight, but the link is in the show notes anyway. 88: Entertaining, or illegal? Haptic Math App; model of how buds grow into leaves; Mathematical Model Explains How Hosts Survive Parasite Attacks; Sperm Can Do Calculus; Hit game shows like Deal or No Deal and Play Your Cards Right could be forced off air after gambling watchdog claims that they break the law; Mathematical Horoscopes; National Numeracy; Afraid of Your Child’s Math Textbook? You Should Be.; Awards for statistical excellence in journalism; and much more. 89: Remark on a Theorem of Hilbert. Pi day; US judge rules that you can’t copyright pi; Drug Data Reveals Sneaky Side Effect; Researchers Send “Wireless” Message Using Elusive Particles; Computing Power Speeds Safer CT Scans; Mathematics Matters UK Parliament meeting; Mario is NP-hard; ERC rejects ‘impact agenda’; Article Titles Make a Difference; Half of children find science and maths too difficult or too boring; Careers advice cuts could be putting kids off science; and more. 90: Maths is to Mathematics as Math is to…? Endre Szemerédi wins the Abel Prize 2012; Automatically tagging the World Service archive; Intel Science Fair; 72nd Putnam; The Spanish link in cracking the Enigma code; Greater Manchester sunflowers to test Alan Turing theory; e-petition: Put Alan Turing on the next £10 note; Five Math Things to do Before You Die; Music helps children learn maths; Alcohol boosts ability to solve problems creatively; Spiked Math IQ Test; Mondrian of Life; Journalism lecturer to take maths GSCE to test ‘dumbing down’; The Proof is Trivial; Angry Birds Space Mirrors Real Rocket Science; Rosenthal Prize; The New MAA Store; new NCETM contract; Reviving the Carnival of Mathematics; Google interviews: would you get a job with the search giant?; and more. 91: Gathering for Gardner 10. First Samuel and Peter were joined by special guest Edmund Harriss to talk about his time at Gathering for Gardner 10 and Five math things to do before you die, then they spoke with eachother about: Snowflake Growth Successfully Modeled from Physical Laws; A Joint Position Statement of the Mathematical Association of America and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics on Teaching Calculus; All the Math Taught at University Can Be Outsourced. What Now?; Mathematical Fonts; Intersections, Henry Moore and British modernism exhibition; Emmy Noether: The Mighty Mathematician You’ve Never Heard Of; Rechner Calculator; Math Awareness Month: Mathematics, Statistics, and the Data Deluge; and much more. 92: Put Alan Turing on a Buckliball. Thomas M. Rodgers (3 Aug 1944 – 10 Apr 2012); Racism in academic mathematics; Buckliball; What sank the Titanic?; Physicist Uses Math to Beat Traffic Ticket; Best and Worst Jobs of 2012; Numerical prodigy sets Guinness record for subtraction; e-petition: Put Alan Turing on bitcoins; Bedtime Math; Minds of Modern Mathematics iPad app; Turing-Tape Games; BAMC writing prize; Maths Busking at Engage U; Mathematicians Take a Stand; 3D printed Sierpinksi tetrahedron, Mobius strips loaded with ball-bearing; Sophie’s Diary; Amelia and the Mapmaker; Carnival of Mathematics 85; America’s struggle to make math fun; Spammers are targeting mathematicians; and more. 93: TW’s School of Hard Sums. This week Samuel and Peter spoke about Dara O Briain’s School of Hard Sums with ‘Maths Advisor’ and special guest Thomas Woolley, also with each other about: The game of go as a complex network; The Trapezium Conundrum; European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad; QAMA Calculator; Gowers and Penrose popular lectures; Travelling Salesman Movie; and more. 94: Broadcasting From A Hollowed Out Volcano. Alan Turing papers on code breaking released by GCHQ; Biography by Turing’s mother republished; Bletchley Park to host Loebner Prize competition; How the universe began; Biodiversity model reliability; MathAlive; Volcanic eruptions and Benford’s Law; New Careers section on Plus Magazine; QAMA Calculator now shipping; Harvard Library view on journal pricing; The Aperiodical launches; and more. 95: Massively Multiplayer Online Mathematics. Math Massive Open Online Course (MOOC); A-level sciences ‘lack the maths students need’; School maths should be more practical, say (some) teenagers; College Dropout Became Mathematical Genius After Mugging; Feminine math, science role models do not motivate girls; The Reason that Spies love Math; Rubik’s Challenge 2012; Concorde TSP App; The Traveling Salesman Version of Sam’s Face; Wikipedia adds MathJax display option; IMA YouTube channel; Protection of Freedoms Bill; The Aperiodcast; HUMANS V NATURE: Engineering FTW; and more. 96: Permeated by Robot Noise. Math paper retracted because it ‘contains no scientific content’; Top Majors of 2022; New Journals of Negative Results; New UK law obliges publishing of public data in open formats; Frozen primes; Follow the timeline of Alan Turing’s life; TU Munich Cancels Elsevier; Help get Octave developed for Android! (like MATLAB, but free); Open Textbook Catalog; Tony’s Maths Blog; Tika Taka Analysis; Fractal Pancakes; and more. The recording is clear but, though Samuel could hear Peter, although with a time lag, during the episode Peter increasingly couldn’t hear Samuel. Makes for fun times! 97: Travelling Salesman Movie Special. This week Samuel and Peter spoke briefly to introduce this interview Samuel recorded with Timothy Lanzone, the writer and director of the forthcoming movie, Travelling Salesman. 98: Why do buses come in Markov chains? Has a “schoolboy ‘genius'” solved a problem set by Isaac Newton that “stumped mathematicians for centuries”?; A Long-Time Limit for World Subway Networks; Space-filling; Running buses that don’t come in threes using Markov chains; A level Further Mathematics numbers up; Ofsted say ‘Every pupil needs a good mathematics education’; The influence of classic literature; Locally produced documentary on psychic octopus to première in Europe; Unabomber updates alumni book; Open Access Update; “Tenet” – Galois on stage; Math and Physics Flashcards; Math Girls Comic Kickstarter; and more. 99: Beer, Flying Carpets and Sarcastic AI. The Guinness Sinking Bubble Problem; Egocentric Social Network Structure; Computers understanding language in context; Researchers Build Miniature Flying Carpet; Campaign to disregard Turing’s conviction; The Turing Enigma (a film); Turing papers free access; Loebner on the Loebner Prize; Anatolii Fomenko’s Mathematical Impressions; What happened with Atiyah and Villani at Tate Modern?; Math predicts size of clot-forming cells; Iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma contains strategies that dominate any evolutionary opponent; EPSRC very quietly relents on maths funding; and more. ### Math/Maths Podcast 100th episode: What’s your current project? Samuel Hansen and I recorded our first episode of the Math/Maths Podcast on 6th June 2010 and it was released the following day. This means a week from now will be our second anniversary and, coincidentally, our 100th episode. On the podcast we regularly ask people to write in telling us what’s happening in their mathematical week. It’s a fun way to get a sense of some of the varied things our listeners are involved with (though, admittedly, more submissions would be great). For our 100th episode spectacular we have decided to invite submissions of 1-2 minutes of audio answering the question ‘What’s your current project?’ This could be an interesting piece of research, an outreach project, or anything else that’s currently taking your time that you’re excited about. Perhaps you could email us at mathmaths@acmescience.com with what you plan to send us. Or just send audio to that address; however we reserve the right to not use what you send in – the show has a limited length, after all! When it’s released, the episode will be available via the Pulse-Project website, as an RSS feed or via iTunes. ### On communication and Google+ I am bad at communication. Here is what I have observed: I reply well when messages are short, informal and don’t require much structure or thought. Emails with some people are easy, if I feel like we are on the same wavelength, can speak briefly and to the point, use shorthand we both understand etc. I reply quickly to Sam, my podcast collaborator, with whom I have email exchanges like: “Saturday?” “Yep.” “7pm my time?” “Sure.” Twitter also fits into this category. Short, informal messages with an interface that works well on my phone are easy to reply to. I don’t reply well to more in depth messages. It’s not that I have a problem with writing in sentences and thinking complex thoughts, it’s mostly a question of immediacy. I can knock out a quick email easily on my phone on the bus, or as a quick aside to the piece of work I am really doing on my computer. If I have to think about a reply, it goes on my to do pile, which is a strange and disturbing realm from which nothing returns. Emails sink down my inbox screen with alarming speed. Following recent unavailability, I have fallen far behind. Work days at the moment are a struggle with the most urgent work while my undealt-with email pile is fast approaching 1000. (Will it self destruct when it reaches four digits?) Having such a large, looming unknown in my life is quite disconcerting. I hope the quiet summer will give me time to catch up. Of course, when an issue is too big for a tweet and a twitterer changes to email, they discover the forgotten realm of my inbox. If it was too big for a tweet, it is too big for a short, quick email and I’ve added it to the pile. (This isn’t deliberate, and I’m annoyed with myself about it. But, you see, if I don’t sort out this thing by tomorrow I’m going to miss that deadline…) Where does Facebook fit? I find Facebook annoying. People send private messages which are basically like long emails but appear in a different place so I can’t reply so easily. I don’t find it as easy to quickly dip in and read something interesting, or engage with someone’s quick message because the web interface has more junk going on and the service doesn’t work so nicely on my phone. I’m fed up of meeting people and having conversations like: “You know my ?” “Really, wow, congratulations!” “What? But surely you knew? I did post it on my Facebook wall.” (Yes, really.) Originally I refused to sign up to Facebook and only did so once I started working for the IMA and we were starting a group. Now I no longer work in that sort of area, should I get off Facebook? I’m really tempted. Into this picture steps Google+. Again I resisted the first attempts to get me on it but I’ve been using it for three weeks now. I sort of like it. I don’t have to worry about abbreviating myself to 140 characters like on Twitter but there is still an expectation of short, quick updates. I’m not constantly asked to play games and other stuff. And people can reply in a way that keeps the conversation together better than Twitter. Still, there’s something about it that isn’t quite clicking with me. It may be the lack of people on there, which will be fixed in time. I’m still not quite sure. Looking for a place for Google+ in this mess of my online communications feels a bit like having a problem at one end and having a solution at the other and trying to fit the one to the other even though they don’t go together. Still, Christian Perfect suggested Google+ was a better place for conversations around the Math/Maths Podcast. I regularly ask on Twitter ‘What’s happened in your mathematical world this week?’ Christian is suggesting I could collect the replies more sensibly on Google+. Further than this, I wondered if I might put up one or two stories and see if anyone had any comments on them that I could collect that way. So I’m going to give it a try. Take a look at this week’s messages on my Google+ page – one about The Code and maths communication, the other asking for news from your mathematical week. Now, I’m off to tweet that I put up a new blog post… ### Developing mathematical thinking – a generational problem? We were sent a link to a blog post by Katie Steckles for the Math/Maths Podcast a couple of weeks ago. I’m preparing for the recording of episode 52 in a few hours and I thought I would share my thoughts on the topic here. The blog post quotes another, ‘The Mathematics Generation Gap‘. This starts with “Profs do not know how their students were taught mathematics, what their students know, what their students don’t know – and have no idea how to help their students bridge those gaps.” This makes me think of the document written by MEI and published by my employer with others, “Understanding the UK Mathematics Curriculum Pre-Higher Education – a guide for Academic Members of Staff“. The problem this looks to address is that “it is not always clear what mathematics content, methods and processes students will have studied (or indeed can be expected to know and understand) as they commence their university-level programmes”. However, the main thrust of the article is on what is called “The arithmetic gap”: “profs over a certain age (and some immigrant profs) were drilled in mental math;… students under a certain age haven’t been. Some implications of the arithmetic gap are familiar: profs who can’t understand why students insist on using calculators; students who can’t understand why their profs are so unreasonable. …” The article goes on to talk about analogue clocks and even Google Maps as forming a difference in understanding and approach between students and their professors. The blog post Katie sent a link to, titled ‘“The Mathematics Generation Gap”‘, talks about “mental arithmetic tricks”. I don’t want to quote the whole thing here and stop you going to read the other post so I’ll take out a lot of the detail (…), but it gives an example: “to multiply any single digit number by nine, just add a zero to the end and subtract the number… Then, it’s easy to generalize, 9 times any two digit number is the number with a zero attached minus the number… Then extend further … This can be generalized further… This also leads directly to the proof…” Then we come to the main argument: How do you discover this rule, and learn how to take it to a proof, without rote exercises that force you to search for shortcuts? I understand that the response to all of the above is to use a calculator instead, these tricks aren’t needed if you have a calculator at hand, but that isn’t the point. The point is that these exercises lead to additional insights, proofs, etc. and those insights are critical for more advanced insights and more complex proofs. The inductive type reasoning that emerges from these exercises is valuable in many settings — I’d guess learning to find patterns is a skill that is useful beyond pure mathematics — and I worry that an over reliance on calculators will erode the development of these skills. I am absolutely convinced, for example, that forcing people to do econometric and statistical exercises by hand develops intuition that you cannot get any other way, and this is a key to moving on to doing proofs. A related area is whether to allow use of computers for solving advanced mathematics. At work in January we ran the HE Mathematics Curriculum Summit, the report of which is now available. This included a debate on, basically, whether students should be expected to use memory, acquire subject knowledge and demonstrate technical fluency, or whether the computation part of mathematics could be left to computers, leaving the students to worry about when and why a particular calculation is used. However, the compelling arguments for me of students performing mathematics by hand there lay in understanding what a computer would be doing and what its limitations would be, whereas the arguments in the blog post seem to be that performing mental arithmetic develops other skills that a mathematical thinker ought to have. What is my view? Certainly the point isn’t finding the numbers; if it were a calculator or computer can be used for certainty. Having said that, there are other areas of mathematics that are well suited to developing this mathematical thinking. I appreciate the desire to encourage pattern searching, logical reasoning, abstraction and extension, but I’m not sure forcing students who haven’t been brought up on mental arithmetic to do such tricks is a productive way of doing so. If everybody has a phone or calculator in their pocket that can solve the question in a millisecond, then forcing them to not use that device and do it by some mental trick instead is just going to put people off, I would say. Beyond this, a lot of people have a genuine anxiety, or some even a disability that can produce a panicked reaction when faced with numbers. Doing something in a non-numerical area might be much more effective. Tilings seem to be a good option, and at work we are running a workshop at Greenwich in a couple of weeks, led by Noel-Ann Bradshaw and at which Katie is a presenter, on using problems, puzzles and games to develop mathematical thinking. Areas such as these can be used to develop the same skills but don’t have the hangups of mental arithmetic. In fact, I have a group of people coming round this afternoon to plan our stall at a local science fair in a couple of weeks. I intend our stall to be themed around using puzzles for developing problem solving skills. Beyond this, mental arithmetic forms part of a number of magic tricks for which a calculator would give the game away, so perhaps encouraging students to play around with this sort of thing may give a motivation to learn some mental arithmetic tricks. (Of course, this all depends what topic you are trying to teach.) Overall, I think the battle is lost – the distinction between profs and students is not as clear as this article would have it because plenty of (and increasingly many) lecturers will have been brought up on calculators as well. I agree there are differences between how lecturers and students approach mathematics, some of which will be generational due to the increasing availability of technology; some will be due to the lecturers being unusual (perhaps more capable and motivated than average) students in their day. Still, if the aim is to develop a mathematical topic, using modern tools to make this more efficient is a good thing; if the aim is develop mathematical thinking I think there are more interesting approaches for developing the kinds of skills the blog post author would like to develop. The blog post ends: “But what is your view on all of this?” Katie has sent me her view for the podcast and she may choose to repeat it in the comments but because I have been sent it for one purpose I don’t feel I should copy it out here. Perhaps you will share your views in the comments. ### Topics from the first year of the Math/Maths Podcast Here is a list of some of the topics we’ve covered on the first year of the Math/Maths Podcast. The 50th episode this weekend will be live streamed (find out more). Ahead of our 50th episode we’d love to hear your memories of the podcast’s first year or anything relevant you’d like to tell us. You can tweet @peterrowlett, @Samuel_Hansen or email. Episode 1: Martin Gardner; 3D imagining a bee hive; Logicomix; Abel Prize collected; CBI predicts skilled worker gap as recovery takes hold; Mental Calculation World Cup 2010; & more. Episode 2: Sharks use fractals to hunt; Reclusive Russian math genius is a no-show to pick up$1M prize money; Fibonacci Knives; Lincoln’s math exercise book; arXiv vs snarXiv; Rock Paper Scissors; World Cup; Professor Risk; Edinburgh Your days are numbered: the maths of death; Talking Maths in Public;
Episode 3: World Cup; What makes the sound of vuvuzelas so annoying?; Math Deficiencies Increase Foreclosure Risk; Multiplication makes things bigger; If sports got reported like science…; Chatroulette Genital Blocking Algorithm; First self-replicating creating spawned in Game of Life; 13 Stripes and 51 Stars; Bletchley Archives; UK universities deliver ¬£2.97 billion in services to business and industry; Michael Gove speech: ‘mathematics is the foundation on which our civilization rests’ etc.; Maths Busking; A Brief History of Mathematics; & more.
Episode 4: Decline of mathematical studies; How chicks count; Academic work ethic; Boxer Nathan Cleverly earns maths degree; Letter: Feynman to Wolfram; ‘Theorem’ generator; Unpublishable Mathematics; The Royal Society’s Summer Science Exhibition; Robert Boyle: wishlist of a Restoration visionary; & more.
Episode 5: Perelman officially declines $1 million for Poincare proof; GOALIE; Teaching applications ‘up by a third’; Mathematician deciphers hidden ‘Hello Code’; Apple uses formula that is ‘totally wrong’; Alex doesn’t win Samuel Johnson Prize; Alan Turing Named Top Pioneer; & more. Episode 6: Paul the Psychic Octopus; World Cup visualisation; National STEM Centre elibrary; Women in Maths; campaign on twitter for a podcast for Brief History of Maths; The algebra of music; #mathchat; Antoni Gaudi cathedral; & more. Episode 7: fighting terrorism; “cool” science stories; space dinosaurs; pouring coffee; 4-time lottery win; Wolfram on maths curriculum; Mandelbrot on fractals; dance; International Mathematical Olympiad; whether data are or data is; Abel Prize nominations; and more. Episode 8: Pi day; Godel Prize and Kyoto Prize winners; ‘Buckyballs’ in interstellar space; Bridges Conference; asciiTeX; Formula for the perfect handshake; Algebra as a Faustian bargain; Maths at British Science Festival; maths puzzles outreach; MathFest; James Grime’s RSA challenge; & more. Episode 9: The attention received by the Tuesday Boy problem; A-level reforms; Women’s International Math Congress; rowing; data sorting; sperm movement mystery; The Mandelbrot Monk; swarms of locusts; quantum cryptography; atomic clocks on International Space Station; elections; heart disease; moss spores; MathFest Tweetup; & more. Episode 10: left-handed boys; the Mathematical Side of M. C. Escher; nested water, land and nations; the number of books in the world; Seventh graders describing scientists; pi to 5 trillion decimal places; Scientopia; drug-resistant malaria; careers in bioinformatics; Kickstarting Punk Mathematics; Sci Foo; improved invisibility cloaks; non-transitive dice; MathJax; and more. Episode 11: Your Days Are Numbered: The Maths of Death; Simplest Solution to Rubik’s Cube; Professor Matt Parks; 2010 China Girls Math Olympiad; Students’ Understanding Of The Equal Sign; A relatively serious proof that P does not equal NP and the after effects thereof; International Congress of Mathematicians 2010; Superconductors and fractals; Pi-hunting; iSquared Magazine; the house where Einstein stayed & more. Episode 12: International Congress of Mathematicians 2010; Fields and Chern Medals, Nevanlinna and Gauss Prizes; Maths A-level numbers; A*; Are exams getting easier?; computer vs. pen-and-paper tests; Futurama; vintage calculators; Euclid’s Elements In Colour; wikimath; a conversation with Matt Parker live in Edinburgh; and more. Episode 13: Plus Magazine, live from the International Congress of Mathematicians; Roberto Carlos’ free kick; A New Kind of Baseball Math; More on P !=NP; The #mathgeek experiment; Clustered Networks; measuring physical constants; testing string theory; Twitter Venn; Mangahigh; and more. Episode 14: Prime birthdays; gravity defying coffee cup; maths education & innovation; why parents can’t do maths today; students get iPads; child-killing maths quiz; cult of youth; Danica McKellar books; chaos following the big bang; the two quadrillionth slice of pi; the National Cipher Challenge; hyperbolic Internets; British Science Festival; Pi-Hunting; constrained writing; recommended reading for new maths & stats lecturers; bed bugs; postgrads who teach; projectile dynamics in sport; and more. Episode 15: Math Prizes; Google 10^100; Ed Milband’s maths geek credentials; maths lesson world record; Joseph Kruskal; Kavli Education Medal; Recursive Pizza; quantum dice; Wolfram blog; Standing on a stepladder makes you age faster; bacterial growth; maths graduates in IT; Fibonacci pigeons; special guest James Grime’s Enigma Project in Finland; Bletchley Park; more bed bugs; and more. Episode 16: special guest Colin Wright on MathsJam and to each other about: the first truly habitable exoplanet; Ed Miliband again; breast cancer statistics; the uncanny accuracy of polling averages; chemometrics and tea; polymath 3; the origin of altruism; Mom and Dad taking math classes; Singapore Math in the USA; UK schools enlisting Indian maths tutors online; the Carnival of Mathematics; the magic square on the Sagrada Familia; and more. Episode 17: Rubicks Cube Robot; Winning with mathematics; Pizza Hut is Anti-Math; Vedic Maths rejected; Musicians with Ph.D.’s; the mathematical secrets of verse; Klein Bottles; nanoscale Mobius strip; Calculator Plots onto Images; Irish Maths Week; Numerologists; 10/10/10; Science is Vital; World Statistics Day 2010; getstats; USA Science & Engineering Festival; G4G Celebration of Mind; Teaching Math as narrative Drama; Who are your important living mathematicians? & more. Episode 18: Benoit Madelbrot; STEM; Mathematics is vital!; Great Mathematicians on Math Competitions & School Mathematics; Curious mathematical law is rife in nature; Augusta School Board Approves Single Sex Math Classes; Study: It’s Hard to Bring Down the Electric Grid; Mathematika Goes Online; Ray and Charles Eames Powers of Ten Video Response Design Competition; Calling all maths artists; And the Nobel Prize in Mathematics goes to…; Maths in a Box; Solving a Rubik’s Cube blindfolded; Math/Maths Podcast Live Recording at Greenwich; & more. Episode 19: World Statistics Day; Barack Obama on MythBusters; Change the Equation; UK Spending Review; Marathon Math: How Not to Hit the Wall; the physics of the wet dog shake; Gathering for Gardner Celebration of Mind; Ridiculous-Sounding Math Classes; Pumpkin Pi; and more. Episode 20: Can bees do maths?; How much math do we really need?; Paul the Octopus, how psychic was he and what does Mahmoud Ahmadinejad think?; Roller Coaster Math; Happy Birthday SI Units; Math Happiness in Korea; Pumpkin Math; Topswops; Bo Burnham Math Song; Complex Power Towers; Mathematics Genealogy Project; Samuel’s Facebook Network; Math/Maths Live & more. Episode 21: UK graduate destinations; Jihadist Economics; Electric current to the brain ‘boosts maths ability’; US House Network Analysis; New Statistical Model Moves Human Evolution Back Three Million Years; Geometric Death Frequency; Flexible metamaterial springs to life; Matt Parker Millennium Problems Guide; £10,000 bill for £21.60 theft case that turned out to be maths error; important living mathematicians; Women’s choices, not abilities, keep them out of math-intensive fields; MathML 3; preparations for Math/Maths Week; & more. Episode 22 – LIVE from MathsJam!: A special episode with no news but views from the floor at MathsJam. Special guests this week (who gave their names): Colin Wright, Rob Eastaway, Bubblz the Mathematical Clown, Hugh Hunt, Dan Hagon, Jeff Morley, Timandra Harkness, Alex Bellos, James Grime, Phil Ramsden, Andrew Jeffery, Colin Graham and Sara Santos. Episode 23 – LIVE from Greenwich: Android phone solves Rubik’s cube in 12.5 seconds; Edmonton Eulers; Relativistic trading; American math achievement; Russian maths problem teaches students who’s really in power; NASA’s Metric Failure; quantum error threshold; Top Five Utterly Incomprehensible Mathematics Titles; Your own maths theorem for £15; and news & stories (including stories from MathsJam) from the floor at Greenwich. Special guests this week: Mitch Keller, Tony Mann, David Singmaster, Nic Mortimer and Noel-Ann Bradshaw. Episode 24: Linking geometric problems to physics; Card Tricks and Data Compression; Racial profiling; The aftershocks of crime; Mumford Receives the National Medal of Science; Improve your maths to get rich & boost the economy; Anti-Complexitism; The Meaning of Maths; Vi Hart Math Doodles; various competitions; and more. Episode 25: Innumeracy Behind Airline Security; Poker at high school; Incredible Edible Foam; Dear Santa: Please Send Owl Puke; 20th C.’s Most Boring Day; Secret of Big Caves Revealed by Math; Non-Transitivity; The kilogram; The Mismeasurement of Science; SAT vs A levels; TDA beats recruitment targets in science and maths; Country rankings in math and science; advent calendars; Math/Maths LIVE from Greenwich: Now on video; Combinations and Permutations Episode 57; and more. Episode 26: the invention of calculus (again); Providing Incentives to Cooperate Can Turn Swords Into Ploughshares; Google Chrome OS advert Math; WikiLeaks founder was ‘no star’ mathematician; Singapore’s Math Priority & US Parents overconfident in children’s mathematics; PISA World education rankings; ant algorithms; time before Big Bang; celebrating 12/12; interest on your credit card; Skyscraper Equation; Oxfam formula for a happy Christmas; Best Mathematical Writing of 2010; Math Article Shows Collaboration Is Not Limited by Geography—or Age; The World’s Social Networks; Lego Antikythera Mechanism; Single Digits; Christmas tree designed in GeoGebra; Royal Institution Christmas Lectures; and more. Episode 27: Finding order in chaos; Modeling Snowflakes in Wintry Wisconsin; Mobile phone radiation linked to people jumping to conclusions; IBM supercomputer set for Jeopardy quiz show showdown; Primary School Students Conduct and Publish a Study on Bees; Students taking maths post-16; BREAKTHROUGH in algorithms: Improved algorithm for Metric TSP!!!!!!!!; Human networking theory gives picture of infectious disease spread; Pythagoras, a math genius? Not by Babylonian standards; 3D printed icosidodecahedron; Possible New European Heritage Label for Bletchley Park; NCETM Special Award for STEM – Does maths count?; Math/Maths in Google Books Ngrams; and more. Episode 28 – Review of the Year: 1910: In a traditional move for the start of January we attempt a review of the year. In an untraditional move, we choose the year 1910. Topics covered: the death of Florence Nightingale gives a good reason to look at the development of modern statistics; the publication of Principia Mathematica volume 1 by Russell and Whitehead brings up axiomatisation and inconsistency; the publication of Einstein’s special relativity leaves some questions about freefall and gravity; Geiger & Marsden firing alpha particles at gold foil has Rutherford questioning the structure of the atom; ten years on from Hilbert’s Problems we ask how many have been solved; plus we look at the work of new LMS President and 1910 Royal Society Sylvester Medal winner Henry Baker and new Fellow of the Royal Society G H Hardy. Episode 29: Rapture Math; 2011 numerology; 2011 Joint Mathematics Meetings and Exhibition of Mathematical Art; Batman Probability; ‘The worst info graphic of 2011’; NASA’s? best and worst science fiction movies; Pedantry on Euler and masts; mathematical matter; 100 Years of the Principia; Ten News Stories of 2010 – and the Statistics that Made Them; Celia Hoyles awarded the first Kavli Education Medal; Why a Cloned Cat Isn’t Exactly Like the Original: New Statistical Law for Cell Differentiation; Math Monday is the best of 2010; The 12 Math Carnivals of 2010 and the 73rd Carnival of Mathematics; LMS Membership survey; 2nd Tomorrow’s Mathematicians Today Conference; Robot solves Rubik’s cube in 15 seconds & more. Episode 30: special guest Katie Steckles on Maths Busking and MathsJam; unlucky house numbers; Mathematics-Inspired Dance Work; Perfecting Animation, via Science; The Mathematics Of Beauty; Geomagic Squares; Irving Kaplansky’s “A Song about Pi”; Edsac computer to be rebuilt at Bletchley Park (by Boffins); An App for Every Course; Oxford and A*s; Maths Inspiration Photo Competition 2010 winner and runners up; and more. Episode 31: Putting reality back into the equation; Weak gravitational lensing and weak arguments; Me and My Algorithm; Mass Animal Deaths; Counting Animals; Yes, bonuses do work – but for fruit-pickers, not City bankers; Finite formula found for partition numbers; Prime numbers in the House of Lords; Rhonda Hughes Honored with AWM’s First M. Gweneth Humphreys Award; National Curriculum Review – Call for Evidence; How much will the budget cuts affect your studies?; Vi Hart; Straight Statistics; and more. Episode 32: Edmund Harriss’ job search; Museum of Mathematics; Watson ‘wins’ Jeopardy!?; Few Students Show Proficiency in Science, Tests Show; Seattle’s ‘Discovering’ math curriculum; Cal State Northridge professor charged with allegedly urinating on colleague’s office door; Coincidence odds are wrong yet again; Mathematical Model Could Help Predict and Prevent Future Extinctions; Long-standing conjecture on Plane Partitions proved; Researchers use cell ‘profiling’ to detect abnormalities — including cancer; Atom counting helps kilogram watch its weight; Math Monsters; Google donates 1 million euros to IMO; Japanese man gains world record for pi calculation; & more. Episode 33: Dr Ian Porteous; President Honors Outstanding Mathematics, Science, and Engineering Mentors; Macroscopic invisibility cloaking of visible light; Tau Manifesto; Cracking the Scratch Lottery Code; Penny Bias; Informed Choices; Teacher training places and goodbye to the golden hellos; As 3,500 meteorologists meet, one man’s forecast: Chance of pirates; Bringing the Census into the internet age; Mathematicians design bone implants for the future; New Mathematical Model of Information Processing in the Brain Accurately Predicts Some of the Peculiarities of Human Vision; Snowdecahedrons; Crime maps: how useful?; What’s Andy Carrol really worth?; Ed Miliband admits being ‘a bit square’; Why nerds rule the world; The Art of Computer Programming, Volume 4A released; Record numbers apply for university places; Marcus du Sautoy to be MA President; & more. Episode 34: The Best Questions For A First Date; The Science of Soccer Substitutions; Role of statistics regulator; Math may help calculate way to find new drugs for diseases; Proposing math models to enhance two-way wireless network communication; Without language, numbers make no sense; Unique math program helps students; Aloha Math; Overweight Kids Who Exercise Improve Thinking, Math Skills: Study; Mathematics teachers learn to inspire students by encouraging pattern hunting; The pointy end of pineapple numbers; Giant Leaps; Researchers produce world’s first programmable nanoprocessor; 2011: Ranking 200 Jobs From Best to Worst; 1942 adding machines: a marvel of non-essential zero elimination!; The blackboard – a modern classic; Carnival of Mathematics #74; Bite-sized History of Mathematics; Valentine’s day mathematics; & more. Episode 35 – Why Maths? Special: a special episode in which Samuel and Peter spoke to Ruby Childs about her investigations into why some people like maths and choose to study it further, when others don’t and whether we should be saying “maths is fun”. Episode 36: Watson, Jeopardy and beyond; mathematician credited with solving one of combinatorial geometry’s most challenging problems; Ants build cheapest networks; ‘Periodic Table of Shapes’; Pride in poor maths culture ‘must be tackled’; Alan Turing’s Patterns in Nature, and Beyond; Alan Turing Papers bought by Bletchley Park Trust; It’s a young numbers game; World Education Rankings (episode 26 call-back); Fastest-Declining Academic Fields; Maths and Sport: Countdown to the Games; 20 Top Math Teacher Tweeters; Radical Statistics essay competition; Math Raps; special guest Julia Collins joins Samuel to discuss Engaging with Engagement; and more. Episode 37: Math/Maths History Tour of Nottingham; U.K. Powerless to Stop ‘Jedis, Witches’ Spoiling 2011 Census; Apportionment in the European Parliament; the world’s most difficult maths problem; The Hodge Conjecture; pi birthday; Polisticians, Demographics and Destiny; All it took to beat Watson, the “Jeopardy”-winning computer, was a rocket scientist-congressman; The End of Algebra?; Compulsory Maths; Dyscalculia Day; The Way You Learned Math Is So Old School; Learning Math with a Video Game; I predict a riot: Where the next dictator will fall; getstats Stats Buskers; and more. Episode 38: A short one this week because Peter wasn’t able to talk to Samuel. Peter apologised and spoke briefly about: Earthquakes and tsunamis, and prediction; Celebrating mathematical women; Pi Day; and your correspondence. Episode 39: nuclear radiation; the Worst Statistics in the World; SOCCER SKILLS DOWN TO MATHS AND SCIENCE SAY SPORT BOFFS; Mathematicians invent a new way to pour stout; Can bees color maps better than ants?; Is mathematics discovered or created?; Bressoud Testifies Before House in Support of STEM Funding; Les Valiant Wins ACM Turing Award; ABEL PRIZE 2011; Romanian Masters in Math & Science; Riemann hypothesis; Using cams to solve math problems; Mathematics of Web Design & the Golden Section; The maths of 007 Top Trumps; calculus-based CAPTCHA; What Pi sounds like; & more. Episode 40: RSS urges people to fill out Census; The Abel Prize 2011: John Milnor; A Schock Prize for an enormous theorem; Organized religion ‘will be driven toward extinction’ in 9 countries, experts predict; Deciphering hidden code reveals brain activity; James Gleick’s Information; Banking cheats will always prosper; Public School Math Doesn’t Teach Students How to Reason; Mathematics in Movies; 14 Holidays Every Math Major Must Know; Education bosses shamed as recruitment advert for MATHS teachers shows equation… with the WRONG answer; How to make a Slinky look like a Klein bottle; and more. Episode 41 – What makes a mathematician? And who should communicate mathematics? Also: Math Awareness Month; MathFest 2011; Peabody Awards; GCHQ Code Cracking Challenge; & more. Episode 42 – Maths in the City: special guest Rachel Thomas on Maths in the City; Pioneer Anomaly Solved; 3D Knight’s Tour; Antikythera Mechanism; Google grants for math; FBI cryptography – Help Solve an Open Murder Case; Requiring Algebra II in high school gains momentum nationwide; Mangahigh Launches 100% Free Games-Based Math Resource for US Schools; Gauss Facts; and more. Episode 43: Did Samuel pass his thesis defence?: Letting There Be More Mosquitoes May Lead to Fewer Malaria Deaths; Australian mathematicians say some endangered species “not worth saving”; Are Ants Smarter Than Fifth-Graders at Math?; the Duckworth-Lewis Method; 2 reviews of Alex’s Adventures in Numberland; Ethnomathematics; How do routefinders find their routes?; New Symmetries; Open University to get US funding; The On-Line Blog of Integer Sequences; The Big Risk Test; MathsJam 2011; whether Samuel passed his thesis defence; and more. Episode 44: Prehistoric Sat-nav is back: Museum of Math has a Home; Prehistoric Sat-nav is back; Snow Alogrithms; Amazon’s$23,698,655.93 book; Flu Math; Professor who “makes maths fun’ gets top award; A Better Way to Teach Math; Child calls 911 for maths help; 10 Charts About Sex; Olympic sports; Predictive Health Prize; Gambling with Secrets; Otomata; Glee is Wrong; and more.
Episode 45: Will Grigori ever speak to the press again?: White Blood Cells Solve Traveling-Salesman Problem; Grigori Perelman Interview (“Grigori Perelman claims he can control Universe”); UK Voting – AV referendum; Push to define year sparks time war; What do you want on your tombstone?; Early math skills predict later academic success; STEM Education DATA; Strange Places to Prove Theorems; Ravi Kannan Wins Knuth Prize; Mathematical Guggenheim Fellows; Why we’re all far too sure of ourselves; In a Data-Heavy Society, Being Defined by the Numbers; and more.
Episode 46: Early Mathematics Day: a report from special guest Dan Hagon live from the BSHM/Gresham College Early Mathematics Day; Grigori Perelman; the Maths of AV; The Greatest Mathematicians of All Time; Could Han Shoot Second?; Paul The Psychic Octopus – The Movie; 40 Years of P vs. NP; TakeAIM: Articulating the Influence of Mathematics; Good maths journalism example: Tackling the big unaswered problems; Journal of Humanistic Mathematics; High School students offer flood of ideas; Why Bayes Rules; 13-Year Periodic Cicadas Emerge; Mangahigh now 100% Free also for UK & Republic of Ireland Schools; 14th Early Career Mathematicians Conference; The Calculus I Student; Numbas; and more.
Episode 47: Listener questions: This week Samuel and Peter were joined by special guest James Grime to answer listener questions. What use are graphics calculators? What is your favourite number? How do you solve 6/2(2+1) (and do you care)? Is maths rapidly developing or finished and polished? Why is most taught maths pre-1950? Is maths discovered or created? When did you first consider yourself a mathematician? What do you think of the arts? What do you think about the stereotypical mathematician? Can a short proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem exist? What’s the best maths communication conference? How do people use Twitter for networking and publicity?
Episode 48: Apocalypse, post-apocalypse & extinction: Judgment Day Mathematics, and what happens next; You’re Living in a Computer Simulation, and math proves it; Calculations may have overestimated extinction rates; Teeth Clenching Mathematics; The Danger of Praise; Supercomputers crack sixty-trillionth binary digit of Pi-squared; S. Korea US to Exchange Math Teachers; Teenagers must stick at English and maths; 71st Putnam; Olympiads; World Measurement Day; Arabic-Indic numerals; Calculus Rhapsody; and much more.
Episode 49: MathsJam Explosion: K3,3 is planar; Hardwired Geometry; Italian Seismologists Charged With Manslaughter for Not Predicting 2009 Quake; Highest paying majors; Code-cracking machine returned to life; Scenes de ballet; How maths can help with (almost) everything; 144 BC Chinese War Game Theory; dyscalculia and math anxiety; jargon; 75 Years of Computer Science; MathsJam explosion; and more.

### Math/Maths Podcast – 1 year and 50 episodes later

Samuel Hansen and I have been doing the Math/Maths Podcast (#MathMaths to those on Twitter) for almost a year. In fact, our 50th episode next weekend will coincide with the one year anniversary of our first recording.

To celebrate, we plan to stream the podcast recording live as we record it. We will record at 4pm British Summer Time, that’s 8am Pacific or 11am Eastern Time, on Saturday 4th June 2011. We have some technical bits to sort out (we can definitely do audio and we may be able to do video too) but check back here on this blog for details of where to join in. We’ll be looking for your input on the day!

UPDATE: We did a technical test and it all seems to work. The link on the day will be the Math/Maths Podcast channel on ustream.