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

Numbers are meaningless

Although not the nicest of men Francis Galton was also a bit of a hero of numbers, drawing them into the human domain, and developing ideas such as correlation. Unfortunately, an heir to… 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

Why not knot wire?

I have been thinking quite a bit recently about ideas of knotting and weaving. There will probably be another post on the theme soon. As a mathematician it brought me straight back to… 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

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

Stars in the snow

Continuing the theme of maths sculptures interacting with snow fall, here are some pictures of my bamboo star. The original design was found by Akio Hizume, and I was introduced to the idea… 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

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

Islamic Geometry

Marc Pelletier is a geometric artist, one of the visionaries behind the amazing Zometool system and the designer and builder of 120-cell models including one given to John Conway at Princeton  and one… Continue reading

Mathematical Scales

Thanks to the move to the US, my son has a new piano teacher. He is playing at an advanced level, beyond grade 8 (for the UK audience), with pieces by Bach, Mozart… Continue reading

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