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Maths events at the Manchester Science Festival


In our traditional mode of picking apart the programmes of upcoming science festivals to make sure they’re doing their maths homework, here’s a round-up of the mathematicial goodies on offer at the upcoming Manchester Science Festival, running from 22nd October – 1st November at venues across Manchester.

Registration for the 2015 MathsJam conference is now open

Photo credit: Dave Hughes

Photo credit: Dave Hughes

The MathsJam annual conference is a magical time when maths geeks converge on a conference centre in the middle of nowhere near Stone and spend a weekend sharing their favourite puzzles, games, and mind-blowing maths facts.

Registration for the 2015 weekend, taking place on 6-7 November, has now been opened. More information about the conference, and how to register, can be found on the MathsJam Conference website.

We’ll all be there: join us!

London MathsJam Recap, May 2015


I know I usually write up the goings-on at Manchester MathsJam, but since I spent much of the last month ‘In Residence’ at the University of Greenwich, I spent the second-to-last Tuesday evening of May at the London MathsJam. Here’s a summary of what transpired.

Manchester MathsJam recap, January 2015

Manchester’s first MathsJam of 2015 (and indeed, all the other first MathsJams of 2015 in cities all over the world) met on 20th January, rousing us all from a Christmas-induced slumber and gently easing us back into a year of recreational maths. Here’s a round-up of what we did.

Thinking Mathematically

After this year’s Maths Jam weekend, Liz Hind said she wished she had a blog. Now she does! We welcome Liz to The Aperiodical and her new column, Thoughts of a Maths Enthusiast.

At Maths Jam I surprised several people when I told them I didn’t have a maths degree. Why was this surprising? They expected everyone at Maths Jam to have one? I’m not alone in not having a maths degree at Maths Jam and I don’t think that was the reason.

A good maths education is important because it teaches you how to approach a problem, think about it objectively and break it down. It turns out I’m good at thinking about Zombie Dice and with a glass of wine (and maybe a hint or two) I can solve difficult cube puzzles. It certainly demonstrates my mathematical thinking skills.

I’m also remembered for my talks on ancient Egyptian mathematics. While the mathematical content of these talks never goes much beyond GCSE level stuff, it does rely on a real understanding of what maths is and how it relates to being human.

Does that make me a mathematician? I’m not sure. I’m certainly a maths enthusiast with a lot of thoughts. I look forward to sharing some of them with you.

Maths at the Manchester Science Festival

Manchester Science Festival takes over the city from 23rd October – 2nd November this year, and it’s got a great selection of mathematical events. If you’re based locally, or thinking of heading over there for any of the time, here’s The Aperiodical’s guide to where to get your factorial fix.