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Blockbusters of Interesting Maths

Screenshot from the show, with Christian in a circle on the right, explaining the 6-by-6 pentagonal tiling grid to his left, which is covered in multicoloured pastel pentagons.

As part of the 24 Hour Maths Game Show which took place at the end of October 2022, our own Christian Lawson-Perfect designed a maths/games crossover gameshow format to end them all – a mashup of hexagon-fighting TV quiz Blockbusters, and his own personal obsession: interesting mathematical factoids. Welcome to Blockbusters of Interesting Maths!

Some Puzzles I Made For My Students

This semester I’ve been teaching a module that covers a couple of different maths topics, and have been setting little puzzles for my students to complement what they’re learning – and some of them have been quite fun to write and play with. I thought I’d share some of them here, so you can enjoy them too.

A Mathematician’s Guide to Wordle

We invited mathematician and wordplay fan Ali Lloyd to share his thoughts on hit internet word game phenomenon Wordle. If you’re not familiar with the game, we recommend you go and have a play first.

Photo of a mastermind board, showing coloured pegs in rows.
CC BY-SA ZeroOne

When I first saw Wordle I said what I saw many other people subsequently say: “Oh, so it’s a bit like Mastermind but with words? That’s a neat idea”. 

Mathematical Objects: Arbelos with Catriona Agg

Mathematical Objects

A conversation about mathematics inspired by an arbelos. Presented by Katie Steckles and Peter Rowlett, with special guest Catriona Agg.

Catriona mentions this proof without words, which is taken from Proof Without Words: The Area of an Arbelos by Roger B. Nelsen in Mathematics Magazine.

arbelos
Arbelos by Catriona Agg

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Equatum puzzles – a chat with Justin Roughley

Equatum is a new puzzle format invented by mathematician Justin Roughley, and is now available in the form of a book. We chatted to Justin about his life and his puzzles.

Alex Bellos – The Language Lover’s Puzzle Book

The Language Lover's Puzzle Book - front cover image

If you’re a fan of maths (which we assume you are, if you’re reading a maths blog), you might be familiar with Alex Bellos from his excellent popular maths books, including Alex’s Adventures in Numberland and the follow-up Alex Through The Looking Glass; you might also enjoy his more recent forays into puzzle books, including Can You Solve My Problems, and Japanese logic puzzle collection Puzzle Ninja, as well as his regular Monday puzzle column in The Guardian.

For his latest book, The Language Lover’s Puzzle Book, Alex has focused on language puzzles, largely drawn from the linguistic equivalent of Maths Olympiads (which he’s gotten really into lately). It’s a hefty volume split into cleverly collected sections on different aspects of language – including how languages are constructed, how words are pronounced, and as you might expect, the origins of how language is used to communicate numbers.

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