This is not unrelated to what I submitted as my entry to The Big Internet Math-Off last summer. I have been revisiting this idea ready for a class next week in my second year programming module.
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Did you read Cédric Villani’s Birth of a Theorem? Did you have the same reaction as me, that all of the mentions of the technical details were incredibly impressive, doubtless meaningful to those in the know, but ultimately unenlightening?
Writing about maths, especially deep technical maths, so that a reader can follow along with it is hard – the Venn diagram of the set of people who can write clearly and the set of people who understand the maths, two relatively small sets, has a yet smaller intersection.
The London Mathematical Society Popular Lectures for 2013 have been announced. Professor Ray Hill, University of Salford, will talk about ‘Mathematics in the Courtroom’, and Dr. Vicky Neale, University of Cambridge, will give a lecture on ‘Addictive Number Theory’.