Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Time Traveller Danny and the Codebreaker

Today I met the author, Paul Morris, who wrote "Time Traveller Danny and the Codebreaker",  book 10 of the Time Travelling Kids series.  An engaging and erudite author, he told me how he finds children to be discerning readers who should not be patronised when writing for them, so he wrote the book without the age of the audience in mind, for anyone of any age.  Try it for yourself.

Reviews of the book are great, including this from
"Time Traveller Danny and the Codebreaker by Paul Morris – a gem of a book, introducing the younger reader to Alan Turing and Bletchley Park.  This engaging fictional adventure about a boy who travels through time to Bletchley Park in World War 2 appeals to the young – and the not so young – reader. It captures the imagination and makes history exciting."

Monday, 5 June 2017

Alex Bellos' Monday Puzzle

Every two weeks Alex Bellos publishes a puzzle in The Guardian newspaper.  Can you solve it?

(click on the picture of Alex to link to this week's puzzle)

Monday, 22 May 2017

Exam Time!

It's exam time again.  No matter how many times I tell my pupils, this message never seems to get through:

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Hidden Figures

Out  now in cinemas, the little told story of the women who worked at NASA during the race to put a man into space.  Not only did NASA recognise the women's skills in Mathematics, they employed black women at a time of racial segregation. Hence the film is not only the story of space travel and mathematics, this is a story of women's and civil rights. Thoughtprovoking and uplifting.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Hans Rosling RIP

A sad day for statisticians.  Charismatic professor, Hans Rosling has passed away.

Hans was Professor of International Health at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm where he challenged preconceptions about World Health Issues, leading to his working with governments and agencies around the world, including the ebola crisis in Sierra Leone.  He founded the Gapminder Foundation  together with his son, who developed the Trendalyzer software to make statistics dynamic, visual, relevant and user friendly.  It was his use of this software, together with his engaging personality and delivery that propelled him to being one of the most popular TED talkers.

Here's his classic TED talk:

Tuesday, 1 November 2016


I've recently been introduced to this game.  It's a bit like a cross between Scrabble and Set.  Easy to learn and totally addictive!

Available at the usual toy shops.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Fields Medal

I have previously mentioned the fact that there isn't a Nobel Prize for Mathematics.

The Mathematical Community have the Fields Medal, which is as equally prized as a Nobel.  The Fields Medal is awarded every four years at the International Congress of the International Mathematical Union.  However, there is one huge difference between the Fields Medal and the Nobel Prize:

The Fields Medal is only awarded to mathematicians under the age of 40!

The reason is that the award is not just for work achieved, but to encourage younger mathematicians to further achievement.

This can lead to a race to complete important work before the mathematician turns 40, as in the case of Cedric Villani.

Too old to receive the Fields Medal when he proved Fermat's Last Theorem, Andrew Wiles, however, was given a Silver Plaque by the IMU in 1998 in recognition of his achievement.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

The Man Who Knew Infinity

Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) stars as mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan, the poverty stricken young man from Madras who had a talent for mathematics.  Through his letters to professor G H Hardy (played by Jeremy Irons), he eventually gained admittance to Cambridge University and became a pioneer of Mathematics.