Tuesday 4 October 2016

"Chalkdust" the exciting twice-yearly online maths magazine has just published Issue 04.  Edited by PhD students at UCL. With an impressively wide range of “top of the class” contributors from far and wide, it is still reaching the amazing standards it set already with issues 01, 02 and 03.

For those of us who like our maths with a touch of history,

  • Emma Bell: “Roots  - Pythagoras of Samos” In The Wizard of Oz, the Scarecrow shows us how intelligent he has become by (mis)quoting Pythagoras’ theorem...
  • James Grime:Hedy Lamarr - Hollywood star and secret inventor” Her most celebrated invention was something without which today’s mobile phone and Wi-Fi technology would not be possible: frequency-hopping.

Other feature articles:

Rafael Prieto Curiel & Anna Lambert:  “Maths & Crime - In conversation with ANDREA BERTOZZI”.   Crime prediction, robotics, big data, image processing, fluid dynamics. Andrea Bertozzi, professor of applied mathematics at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), has worked in all these areas and more. Her curiosity and many collaborations have made a real impact in our modern world.

Stephen Muirhead: “Problem solving 101”. From the outside looking in, maths problem solving can seem like a kind of magic. Here is a typical image: a lone genius, peering at a vexing problem, rubs their chin, paces up and down; then a bolt of inspiration hits and the solution falls neatly into place. And while it’s true that inspiration can strike the lucky few, for the rest of us this is no more than an illusion (and often a carefully cultivated illusion at that). In reality, problem solving is usually much more prosaic, nothing more than a careful application of well-known, and often quite elementary, techniques.

Colin Wright, “The doodle theorem, and beyond…”. One of the things I like about recreational maths is how we can start with a simple game, play around a bit, poke in the corners, and suddenly fall down a deep hole into some serious mathematics. In this article we start with some well-trodden ground, which some readers will find familiar. However, we quickly find that all is not as it seems, and we soon stumble over a veritable pot of gold...

Jack Hodkinson, " Proof by storytelling " You can prove that two expressions are equal by telling two different stories.

Vicky Neale, "Prime jewellery" I’m a mathematician who enjoys exploring mathematical ideas through craft. So naturally I rushed out and bought lots of beads and thread, and a very tiny crochet hook.  And then I realised that it would probably have helped if I knew how to crochet…

John Crabtree, " Mathematics—queen of the arts?" In my view, art and mathematics share the magical process of ‘idea getting’ but essentially differ in where they go with those ideas.