Category Archive: Main Article

Hexayurt dome details and models

Edit 4/8/12: Andrew Maxwell, Tracy Suskin, Ying Yang, students at SAIT polytechnic in Canada, have put together the engineering details for the tri-dome. People are now starting to build my tri-dome and quad-dome… 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

Arrange whatever pieces come your way

(with apologies to Virginia Wolff) A simple, classic puzzle is to give two shapes and ask if there is a way to cut one up so the pieces can be rearranged into the… Continue reading

Game theory: mathematics as metaphor

Last semester I offered my students $1,000,000 dollars. They turned me down. This was lucky, despite the money and glamour of academic mathematics, I do not have a million dollars. The game was… Continue reading

Icosahedral Tiling Model

Following on from the “How do shapes fill space?” exhibit at the RSSE last year, the Science Museum accepted our offer of some of the zometool models. There were three classics, the 120-cell,… Continue reading

Carnival of Mathematics #65

Consider two numbers with no common factors, and take the sum of their squares : In many cases the result is a prime, twice a prime, a prime power, or twice a prime… Continue reading

Lasering my Laptop

I finally got the courage together to put my laptop into my lasercutter. It worked! If anyone is interested this was using a 25W Versalaser at 100% power, 10% speed, 1000ppi (three powers… Continue reading

My dream Royal Institution

Edit 24/1/13The RI crisis returns with the recent announcement that the buildings might have to be sold. Some are calling for clear statements of visions for the future, so I believe that this… Continue reading

Socolar and Taylor’s aperiodic tile.

As regular readers know I have a love of incomplete or impossible quests.  One such quest that comes very close to my work is quest for an aperiodic tile. A shape that can… Continue reading

Finding Ada: Alicia Stott Boole

March the 24th is the birthday of Ada King, Countess of Lovelace. An icon for mathematicians and computer scientists as the first programmer. She developed algorithms that could be run on Babbage‘s analytical… Continue reading

Reflections in spheres

The beautiful images that can be produced by raytracing reflection in spheres.

Spirographs and the third dimension

Some thoughts on spirographs and how to make them in three dimensions.