Category Archive: General


My latest project has been several years brewing. A system of hook together paper pieces that can make all sorts of interesting geometry. I have used it to engage people with mathematics, to… Continue reading


Linear algebra is one of my favourite areas of mathematics. Its a simplification but you could say that the things that mathematics does well are small numbers and straight lines. The rest is… Continue reading

Twelve and the real life problems problem

The number 12, not the most esoteric secret of mathematics. Yet through the under appreciated power of the equals sign it can become 6+6, 3*4, 15-3, 36/3 aall before we add in unusual… Continue reading

Rational parameterisation of the circle

I really like parametric functions. You take two functions from the reals to the reals and use them to define x and y coordinates of points. For example you can take and you… Continue reading

Numbers, letters and exponential growth

Mixing slightly arbitrary abstract systems can be fun. The two systems that nearly everyone has to deal with are our systems for sound (the alphabet) and for quantity and order (numbers). So taking… Continue reading

Mathematics out loud

  We are used to reading mathematics, we are also used to hearing it spoken in lectures. I can think of few examples of the natural way to combine these. Why do we… Continue reading

Permutations, weaving and wedding rings

For a strange variety of reasons, even though we have just celebrated our third anniversary the process of our wedding has only really just been completed. In particular I only recently got a… Continue reading

Two Englishmen and a mountain.

Two Englishmen stand in the highlands of Fiji, gazing up at a hill high above the village they are staying in. As there is not a lot else to do, they decide that… Continue reading

Education Depression

Mathematics education is hard, in part because the skills it takes to understand mathematics and to teach mathematics are actually quite different. In addition, once grasped, many mathematical ideas switch in an instant… Continue reading

Build a heaven in hell’s despite

Throughout europe and beyond the following conversation will be taking place: “What have you been doing?” “I was at a the “Living on the edge” conference?” “Where was it?” “The Council of Europe”… Continue reading

Old models of education

This is a post for the Edgeryders conference that I will be visiting in a little over a week. It is also available on that site. We have many problems in education, and… Continue reading

The future we deserve

Telling the future is impossible, yet we have to do it every day. We need to be realistic at the same time as allowing some hope, as not trying for better things is… Continue reading