Journalist Alix Norman gave maths and storytelling a bit of air time: I could not be more grateful!
Check the link below for an interview with insights on the rationale of my second book "Peculiar Deaths of Famous Mathematicians", and the value of storytelling when discussing mathematics.
Pythagoras's death, illustration by Asuka Young.
Peculiar Deaths of Famous Mathematicians has made the cut for Chalkdust book of the year award. Chalkdust magazine "A magazine for the mathematically curious" has many amazing contributors, many during their research stage of their mathematical studies. Check the magazine itself out for some fun and informative topics!
It might be old news for many, but I only discovered this dice game over a recent trip. Originally created by Milton Bradley and then acquired by Hasbro (to do all the referencing and copyrighting here - please let me know if I missed someone) this game can have you calculate probabilities until you drop!
Each player gets 13 rounds. In each of those 13 rounds each player is expected to fulfil as many of the combinations on the score sheet as possible. I outline the combinations below. In each round there are five dice that can be rolled up to three times. So you can roll all five dice three times, but in case of some good numbers on the first roll, you can re-roll fewer than five until you get as close to the desirable combination as possible. And this is where the fun with probability starts! You do not need to complete the combinations in the order they appear on the score sheet (that would be practically impossible, or you would end up with few points north of zero).
The 12 combinations you're aiming for are:
1. As many ones as possible
2. As many twos as possible
3. As many threes as possible
4. As many fours as possible
5. As many fives as possible
6. As many sixes as possible
The score for each of these six combinations is calculated by only considering the 1s, 2s, 3s, 4s, 5s, 6s that you achieved in each combination respectively. If in the first six combinations you manage to score at least 63 (neatly achievable by at least three of the desirable value in each of these throws) than you get +35 bonus points.
7. Three of the same - any value and all scores count
8. Four of the same - any value and all scores count
9. Full House - three of the same and two of the same - 25 points
10. Short road - any four consecutive - 30 points
11. Long road - any five consecutive - 40 points
12. Kniffel or Yahtzee - five of the same - 50 points
13. Chance - when your combination does not match anything but you have nice good values and they all count
If on one round you don't succeed in creating any of the combinations, you must forfeit one of the combinations making this impossible to score for that combination even if you roll it later in the game. The best to forfeit are obviously combinations 1 and 2 that do not carry very many points and you can make up for those in different rolls. But then again that's a decision you need to make based on how far in the game you are and what are the remaining chances of getting at least 63 points in the first three hence the +35 bonus.
The 212th Carnival of Mathematics is here! This monthly blog is organised and run by the https://aperiodical.com/ and I'm excited to be hosting for February 2023; here are some new fab mathsy stuff!
Not many numbers enjoy the notoriety of 212, and I’m only finding out by coincidence (hosting the specific issue etc).
The song “212” by Azealia Banks has been played over 2*10^8 on Spotify, the number is part of her childhood neighbourhood area code – please do not take this as condoning to the language in the lyrics.
Apparently, it is also the angel number that gives guidance and helps you make your dreams come true when you see it. So, dear readers, from the bottom of my heart: 212, 212, 212, …, 212, …
212 is also a perfume by Carolina Herrera launched in 1997 but would have liked it better if it launched in 2012 (zeros do not count). TfL bus 212 goes between St James Street Station and Chingford Station.
Now some real info on 212: a composite number equal to 2*2*53, its proper divisors add to 166 hence a deficient number (shame).
Math1089 is not quite as obsessed with 212, but with a different interesting number: https://math1089.in/2023/01/18/mathematical-beauties-of-the-number-76923/
For fans of set theory and its marvels, https://www.quantamagazine.org/long-out-of-math-an-ai-programmer-cracks-a-pure-math-problem-20230103/
Check this great thread full of fun ideas: https://mathstodon.xyz/@christianp/109618963869480507
From Euclid to telescopes, geometry is great! Here is a super video with Matt Parker: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=os0a5au_3Mo
If interested in card tricks, here is one to try: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0RtYl1WjtM
For the teacher colleagues out there – and their students of course, Alpha Beta Maths released quite a few educational videos in January, check the one on simultaneous equations here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdF_zXH-11k
Resourcaholic has added a review on a new book by Craig Barton, you can read it here https://www.resourceaholic.com/
A couple of new episodes on the podcasts numberphile and the art of mathematics. Check them out here: https://www.numberphile.com/podcast/michael-merrifield and https://anchor.fm/the-art-of-mathematics
Check out a calculator’s anniversary edition! http://edspi31415.blogspot.com/2023/01/retro-review-hewlett-packard-hp-14b.html
A confusing word problem made its way in a newspaper – see what you think https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/parenting/article-11677671/Parents-solve-confusing-Year-Five-maths-homework-question-guess-answer.html
A review of the year in “math” by quantamagazine can be found here: https://www.quantamagazine.org/the-biggest-math-breakthroughs-in-2022-20221222/
And of course, it wouldn’t be a happy new year without the prime minister’s announcement that maths education should continue at least until the age of 18; hurray! https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-64158179
Pythagoras asking the questions
Illustration by Asuka Young
This is the audio from my interview to Yiannis Ioannou at LGR where I talk about my work in mathematics education and the rationale behind my two (so far) books.
The only catch is you need to understand Greek!
The Chalkdust Magazine Book of the Year award 2020 went to "Molly and the Mathematical Mystery" but the Reader's choice award went to "Mathematical Adventures!"!
Here's details and more information https://chalkdustmagazine.com/blog/book-of-the-year-2020/
Chalkdust reader's choice 2020
Chalkdust magazine is a fun and informative magazine for the mathematically curious. "Mathematical Adventures!" was shortlisted for their book of the year 2020 award. We were over the moon, an acknowledgment of the love we poured into creating our first book. Check our the review and find out more about Chalkdust magazine itself here: https://chalkdustmagazine.com/blog/mathematical-adventures/
Sending good wishes for the new year