# August, 2012

## Silly Questions Amnesty

Got something that's bugging you about maths? Post it below for a no-names-no-packdrill reply. It doesn't matter how silly. If your one-times table is eluding you, give me a shout and we'll figure it out.

## Quotable maths: Armstrong

RIP, Neil Armstrong (1930-2012).

## Five ways that maths is stoopid

I LOVE maths. I enjoy maths I can do, and I enjoy maths I can't do yet. I enjoy spotting patterns, puzzling over abstract ideas, playing about and reaching beautiful (but ultimately wrong) conclusions, and the gorgeous, exciting moment when everything suddenly falls into place. Terry Pratchett said writing was

## Secrets of the mathematical ninja: Estimating natural logs

Natural logs are just about the easiest part of the A-level syllabus to look like a god in -- because they're wrongly seen as difficult. In fact, once you know a handful of tricks, you can rattle off things such as 'log of 12 is about 2.5, of course...' (it's

## Silly Questions Amnesty

Got something that's bugging you about maths? Post it below for a no-names-no-packdrill reply. It doesn't matter how silly. If you're struggling with 2 + 2, I promise to be nice.

## The making of a mathematician (Episode I)

I don't remember ever not being good at maths. My first memory of maths is asking my dad what minus three teddy bears looked like -- I must have been about four -- and him not really answering the question. In retrospect, he probably gave the same answer as I

## The Lives of the Mathematical Ninja: Paul Erdős

(1913-1996. Erdős was born just before the outbreak of World War I and died shortly before Google was launched. I gather his surname is pronounced "air-dish".) Just about the polar opposite of Leonardo in terms of attitude was Paul Erdős, quite possibly the most prolific mathematician of all time. Erdős subsisted largely on

## Silly questions amnesty

Got something that's bugging you about maths? Post it below for a no-names-no-packdrill reply. It doesn't matter how silly. If you've forgotten what number comes after two, I'll help.