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In this month’s thrilling installment of Wrong, But Useful, we’re joined by @c_j_smith, who is Calvin Smith in real life.

We discuss…

  • Number of the Podcast: 5
  • Are Fish and Chip shop owners good at maths?
  • Two maths puns and a maths joke
  • Are there ‘popular’ books that ‘lead you in’ to mechanics?
  • An application of the sum-of-squares problem
  • Via @PaulsPrattle (Paul O’Malley): “If you were the ruler of the universe tomorrow what would be the objective in secondary mathematics learning for all kids everywhere?”
  • Via @aap03102, (Chris Smith)’s newsletter: some love for Simon Plouffe
  • Via @christianp: The Big Mathoff is running again
  • Puzzle feedback from last time: We hadn’t seen any solutions when we started recording, but some have come in since - we’ll mention those next month. However: Chris pointed out a tweet from @mathsjem (Jo Morgan) showing the clock-hands puzzle in Thompson’s Practical Algebra, published in 1878.
  • New Puzzle: There are 3 lighthouses. The first shines for 3 seconds and then is off for 3 seconds. The second shines for 4 seconds and then is off for 4 seconds. The third shines for 5 seconds and then is off for 5 seconds. Initially, all three come on together. When is the next time they’re all on at the same time?

The post Wrong, But Useful: Episode 68 appeared first on Flying Colours Maths.

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In this month's Wrong, But Useful, we're joined by @sheena2907, who is Sheena in real life. We discuss:

The post Wrong, But Useful: Episode 67 appeared first on Flying Colours Maths.

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In this month’s episode of Wrong, But Useful, we’re joined by @cshearer41, who is Catriona Shearer in real life.

We discuss:

  1. by way of FIRE

The post Wrong, But Useful: Episode 66 appeared first on Flying Colours Maths.

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In this month’s Wrong, But Useful, we’re joined by @televisionduck, who is TD Dang in real life. We discuss:

  1. It’s a magazine for the mathematically curious, apparently. Never heard of it.

The post Wrong, But Useful: Episode 65 appeared first on Flying Colours Maths.

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In this month’s episode of Wrong, But Useful, we’re joined by @DrSmokyFurby and his handler, Belgin Seymenoglu.

Apologies for the poor audio quality on this call. Dave’s fault, obviously1 .

We discuss:

  • The Talkdust podcast
  • (via Adam Atkinson): Life insurance
  • Superpermutations: new record for n = 7 in the comments on a YouTube post
  • @pecnut and @mscroggs have a LaTeX package that puts hats on things
  • Desmos adding support for distributions and all sorts
  • @mdawesmdawes’s QUIBANS website
  • Dave has been playing the game The Mind
  • (Via @peterrowlett), 318,000 combinations of pringles
  • Dave gave a talk in Exeter and will hopefully give one in Bristol in June.
  • Humble Pi by @standupmaths – book launch on March 2nd in London, tickets selling fast sold out. You can join the waiting list here.
  • @honeypisquared (Lucy)’s new podcast – Mathematips
  • We’ve been shouted out in @aap03102 (Chris Smith)’s newsletter, and on @missradders’s padlet – thanks!
  • Tax – round up or not?
  • Rotationally symmetric equations (@robeastaway and @peterrowlett): here, here, and Elliot’s versions here
  • Puzzle feedback from last time: Gold star for @chrishazell72: for showing that $(a-b)^2 + (b-c)^2 + (c-a)^2 + (a+b+c)^2 = 3(a^2 +b^2 + c^2)$, and that the first child is 6, younger (2yo) born when elder was 3.
  • New Puzzle (via @cmonMattTHINK): Find the line that touches $y= x^4 – x^3$ at two distinct points. Avoid calculus if possible.
  1. Narrator: it was not, in fact, Dave’s fault.

The post Wrong, But Useful: Episode 64.md appeared first on Flying Colours Maths.

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In this month’s installment of Wrong, But Useful, Dave and I are joined by @honeypisquared, who is Lucy Rycroft-Smith in real life.

We discuss:

  • Mathematical board games, including
  • Number of the podcast: Lucy doesn’t like numbers so we don’t have one.
  • Does your collection of maths people exclude anyone?
    • Lucy went to Big MathsJam this year. Bowled over by the time taken to make sure people felt included. Clearly an intentional, thoughtful approach.
  • Is stats actually maths1 ?
  • Christmas books:
  • Via Adam Atkinson – Money Box. £35 000 per year for life or £480 000 now?
  • The great makeup heist
  • Postal systems and nutri-grain
  • Quick bits:
  • Puzzle feedback: @schwartstack and Adam Atkinson both found answers in the region of $3.5 \times 10^{38}$, rather than quadrillions. Gold stars all round. On looking into it more, the Fantasy Flight Games site claims 104 septillion (still several orders of magnitude too small.)
  • This month’s puzzle: Prove that 3 times the sum of 3 squares is the sum of 4 squares.
  • This month’s second puzzle: A parent buys a pack of 24 candles. On their first child’s first birthday, they use one candle; on the second, two candles and so on. At some point, a younger sibling arrives, and the candles are used in the same way. On one of the first child’s birthdays, the parent finds they have exactly the right number of candles left for that birthday. How old is the first child, and how old were they when their younger sibling was born?
  1. QTWTAIN

The post Wrong, But Useful: Episode 63 appeared first on Flying Colours Maths.

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In this month’s episode of Wrong, But Useful, we’re joined by @ch_nira, who is Dr Nira Chamberlain in real life – and the World’s Most Interesting Mathematician.

  • Nira is a professional mathematical modeller, president-designate of the IMA, and a visiting fellow at Loughborough university.
  • We discuss Nira’s entry in the Aperiodical Maths-Off. I mention a simulation of the Schelling model.
  • Number of the podcast: 2, the percentage of the top rate of National Insurance.
  • The Big MathsJam Special and Big MathsJam itself.
  • Dave has a circle question that stumped his students. Nira turned the tables on some future teachers by making them simulate Aston Villa’s season. Ouch.
  • A thread from @creeepyjoe about communication and collaboration – with an insight into Nira’s Mathematics Attack Room. Colin mentions the German €20 note, but meant the old DM10 note.
  • @fenneklyra’s Guess Who questions: “White hair OR red hair OR glasses? Yes: Red hair or hat? No: Blond or hat? Then there are only 6 left of which you can make out the next question yourselves”
  • @stecks was on @myfavethm to talk about the fold-and-cut theorem.
  • Nira points to a tweet from @probabilityfact pointing out that 87% of Americans can be identified by the combination of ZIP code, sex and birth date.
  • What’s the opposite of inside-out?
  • @fotsn have put out a new audiovisual offering called You Can’t Polish A Nurse Nerd.
  • Dave thanks Adam Atkinson for his help on percentages.
  • Puzzle feedback: gold stars for @schwartstack, @chrishazell and loyal antipodean listener Sam Steele, who each worked out $P(X=5) = \frac{1}{120}, P(X=4) = 0, P(X=3) = \frac{1}{12}, P(X=2) = \frac{1}{6}, P(X=1) = \frac{3}{8}, P(X=0) = \frac{11}{30}$.
  • This month’s puzzle: Dave is playing Keyforge, in which a deck consists of 36 cards: twelve from each of three distinct clans. There are 51 distinct cards available for each clan (repeats are allowed), and seven clans. The makers quote quadrillions of possible decks; is this plausible?

In my Maths Attack Room recording a podcast with the @WrongButUseful Team. Love talking everything #mathematics. Thank you @icecolbeveridge for the invite! Look out for this episode next week. pic.twitter.com/4Ik04wsmds

— Dr Nira Chamberlain (@ch_nira) December 8, 2018

The post Wrong, But Useful: Episode 62 appeared first on Flying Colours Maths.

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Since @reflectivemaths wasn’t at Big MathsJam and @samuelhansen was, the MathsJam Special is a bit different this year.

The post All The Maths Podcasts appeared first on Flying Colours Maths.

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In this month’s episode of Wrong, But Useful, we’re joined by Special Guest Cohost @macaronique, who is Angela Brett in real life.

* Edited 2018-09-18 to fix some links.

The post Wrong, But Useful: Episode 60 appeared first on Flying Colours Maths.

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In this month’s episode of Wrong, But Useful, we’re joined by @mscroggs, one of the editors of @chalkdustmag1.

  • Colin has a bug and an article in Chalkdust
  • Matt gives some insights into the editing process at the magazine
  • Number of the podcast: 8
  • Black History Month: Matt refers to Episode 53, when @seanjamshidi and #NikiWithoutTwitter mentioned their work on last year’s edition. Chalkdust are running articles and events again this year
  • Ada Lovelace Day: None of us did anything for this this year, shamefully. The Aperiodical is orgainising Noethember, an Inktober in November illustrating mathematical legend Emmy Noether’s life. Matt asks after the Wikiquote editathon, which we discussed here.
  • Guess who: when there are three people left, should you just guess? Should you take more risks when behind?
  • Dave isn’t going to Big MathsJam. If that’s an incentive, you can book here.
  • Parabolic multiplication: Matt describes how to multiply using a parabola, and mentions @realityminus3’s lovely logarithms article.
  • Hannah Fry has a new TV series out. We talk about off-the-beaten-track popular maths. Matt mentions a Chalkdust article about a magnetic pendulum
  • The etymology of ‘average’
  • Consistency vs higher average. Dave asks: when might you prefer a low-average low-spread outcome to high-average high-spread?
  • Shooting stars: Matt’s eye was caught by this puzzle by @statsjen. @robeastaway has a nice write-up.
  • Puzzle feedback: Gold star to @chrishazell for 8-1-15-10-6-3-13-12-4-5-11-14-2-7-9. For more, [watch @numberphile](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1m7goLCJDY)
  • From the Chalkdust quiz: Are there more words in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix or entries in the OEIS?
  • This month’s puzzle: Adapted from a recent MathsJam Shout: you have cards labelled 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 face down in a random order on the table. You predict the order of the cards before turning them over. What’s the probability of getting all five correct? Four? Three? Two? One? None?

Next month is the Big MathsJam special.

  1. A magazine for the mathematically curious

The post Wrong, But Useful: Episode 61 appeared first on Flying Colours Maths.

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