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

Handcrafting the digital: Wedding rings

This is cross posted on Brian Lockyear’s Gnarly Architecture blog. Those interested in the intersection of the technical and artistic worlds (probably a majority given the topics of this blog) should take a… 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

Five principles of the evil teaching guru

When you apply for a university job you include a “teaching philosophy”, depending on institution this can be ignored or taken seriously. I have a teaching philosophy. Though I am not sure I… 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

Have we ever lost mathematics?

If you study the history of modern mathematics one of the recurring themes is the collapse of the foundations. A realisation that the assumptions underlying a topic were not as strong as might… Continue reading

The 2×1 rectangle and Domes

Next week I am going to be at the Gathering for Gardner, an exciting meeting of mathematicians, magicians, puzzlers and others inspired by the life and work of Martin Gardner. This post is… Continue reading

Prime Phyllotaxis Spirals

The phyllotaxis spiral is one of the classical forms of mathematics, and there is a wonderland of resources available online both images and explanations. The basic idea is to put points round in… Continue reading