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Maths at the Manchester Science Festival 2016


Here’s our annual round-up of what’s happening in sums/thinking at this year’s Manchester Science Festival. If you’re local, or will be in the area around 20th-30th October, here’s our picks of the finest number-based shows, talks and events.

Relatively Prime Recap: Season 2, Episode 7: $f(\theta) = 1 – \theta$

f(theta) = 1 - sin(\theta)

I’d have written it as $r = 1 – \theta$, myself, but even then it’s not much of a heart. However, that’s pretty much my biggest gripe about this episode, the penultimate in series 2 of Samuel Hansen’s one-of-a-kind mathematics podcast, Relatively Prime.

Episode 7 is subtitled “Dating in the mathematical domain”, and looks at the maths involved in dating and relationships, and begins with some of the comments Sam’s dating profile received from non-mathematicians. Now, denizens of the dating world: Samuel has many flaws and failings; picking on the fact that he’s a mathematician seems a little arbitrary and unfair, like deciding not to vote for Donald Trump because you don’t like his tie. I have this unfamiliar sensation. Could it be… surely not? It appears that I feel a little sorry for Samuel. Don’t tell him, ok?

New Mersenne prime discovered, and promptly printed out

Breaking news! On 19th January 2016, the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search discovered a new largest prime number – we know 49 Mersenne primes, the largest of which is now $2^{74207281}-1$, a number containing over 22 million digits and full of primey goodness.

Internet Maths Person Matt Parker has responded to the news in spectacular style, by issuing a 14-minute long video explaining the discovery and its implications, as well as somehow scoring an interview with the actual discoverer of the new prime, Curtis Cooper.

Relatively Prime Recap: Season 2, Episode 2: Your Daily Recommended Math[s]

Relatively Prime: Your Daily Recommended Math

Maths – as teachers are fond of telling anyone who’ll listen – is everywhere. In this difficult second episode of the difficult second series of Relatively Prime, Samuel Hansen shows us a few important places where it can be a help: at the petrol pump, at the birthday party, in the car park and at the bar — or rather, in deciding whether to go.

The Aperiodical’s Actually Hexagonal Snowflake Competition 2015

no bad snowflakes


To celebrate the year end, as well as our daily Advent Calendar posts, we’re also running a little competition – last year we did a pun competition, and this year it’s something a bit more crafty – well, it’s a knitting competition in which the knitting is optional.

Puzzlebomb – September 2015

Puzzlebomb Logo

Puzzlebomb is a monthly puzzle compendium. Issue 45 of Puzzlebomb, for September 2015, can be found here:

Puzzlebomb – Issue 45 – September 2015

The solutions to Issue 45 can be found here:

Puzzlebomb – Issue 45 – September 2015 – Solutions

Previous issues of Puzzlebomb, and their solutions, can be found here.