Category Archive: General

Being wrong

I hate being wrong, ask anyone in my family, they will get that slightly weary look and agree (and I am not the only one). I have tried to counter this by learning… Continue reading

Word powers of ten

How do we understand the number of words on the internet? Its hard to even grasp how many there are, and the number is growing so rapidly. Trying to understand a similar problem,… Continue reading

Polynomials in Wood

What has got to do with wood? Like you until a few days ago I would have said “Probably nothing” then I came across this chart: Where it relates to how the bending… Continue reading

2+2 = 1? Patterns in Modular arithmetic

When someone is talking about the absolute truth of mathematics and declares that once you have defined 2 and +, then 2+2 must equal 4, there is a slightly glib response: but 2+2… Continue reading

The University Project: Stories and Science

For background you might start with these two pieces from Dougald Hine: About this university… The University Project: Five Reasons I can’t tell stories. I am a mathematician, I find rules. I want… Continue reading

The Academy: Axiom 1

The rule This post is not trying to do anything clever. It is making a statement that seems self-evident: There are three ways to gain understanding of the world: Personal experience Systems of… Continue reading

Will the next generation act?

Mathematics and policy need to meet in preschool [A recent collaboration with Vinay Gupta, available as a pdf] We are all products of our environment, so education is one of our best chances… Continue reading

In memorium: Foyle’s Mathematics room.

For years the mathematics books at Foyles bookshop in London had their own room. It was a strange place, to the uninitiated inexplicably yellow. It had its own quirks rules and legends. There… Continue reading

I find myself looking for a job…

I have a weird collection of skills. Mathematics, talking about mathematics, art, making… I am certainly missing opportunities, maybe because few know the skill set even exists! So its time to advertise myself.… Continue reading

Imagine you will talk to monkeys…

We have all sat in lectures, looking around to wonder if anyone is still able to follow. In writing a talk it is often hard to judge the right standard, and in general… Continue reading

Every year most of the world’s greatest artworks are swept up and thrown away

Education and Research

A twitter discussion this morning with Ian Hopkinson (@smallcasserole) Rory Duncan (@HardyDuncan) and Mary Wombat (@little_mavis), led me to try to formulate what I think about the relationship between education and research. There… Continue reading