May, 2014

Why are outliers defined like THAT?!

My own imagination asks: Why is an outlier defined as 1.5 interquartile ranges outside of each quartile? Great question, imagination! The simple answer, I think, is that it’s a nice and easy thing to work out, and 1.5 interquartile ranges is quite a long way from the central box (if

Read More

Boodles: Secrets of the Mathematical Ninja

“You can use BIDMAS,” said the student, and the Mathematical Ninja gave him a piece of paper and a marker. “Write BIDMAS on here, really big.” While the student complied, the Mathematical Ninja fired up the flamethrower. “Hold it up in front of your face.” “You know, I’d really rather

Read More

Nine ways to revise for the GCSE Calculator paper

A student asks: Hi, I am struggling with trying to revise for my GCSE maths calculator mock… I was wondering if you could give a few tips on how to revise for this exam in particular. There’s a commonly-held belief that the calculator paper is easier than the non-calc one,

Read More

Recurring decimals: Secrets of the Mathematical Ninja

“May I borrow some paper?” asked the student, meekly. He knew he should have come prepared; he feared for his safety, as the Mathematical Ninja’s reputation preceded him. “BORROW?!” hairdryered the Mathematical Ninja. “BORROW?! Why on earth would I want the paper back after you’ve defiled it with your profane…

Read More

The C1 Last-Minute Panic Checklist

OK, OK, stop screaming! I KNOW C1 is only a few days away, I know you’re underprepared, but panicking isn’t going to help anything. It’s a pretty common – and heartbreaking – thing for tutors and teachers to see: a student who’s waltzed through GCSE getting to the end of

Read More

A student asks: why do you love maths so much?

A question I don’t remember ever having been asked before: Why do you love maths so much? It’s a really hard question to answer – if you asked someone why they like music or football, they’d probably shrug and say ‘I just do!’ There are loads of things I love

Read More

Carnival of Mathematics, 110

It’s the 110th Carnival of Mathematics – and I fear I’ve drawn the short straw. I suppose, as the numbers climb higher, there are fewer interesting facts to go around. However, a few that jump out: it gives the minimal value (-5) of the Merten’s function ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mertens_function ) it’s

Read More

Finding constants for a line or curve – Secrets of the Mathematical Ninja

The Mathematical Ninja stopped dead in his tracks. Not literally, of course: immortal beings don’t die. He turned his head slowly towards the student, unsure what was going on. He probably had in mind his recent OFSTED report, which had — while praising the results of the students that survived

Read More

Wrong, But Useful: Episode 14

In the (very) late April episode of Wrong But Useful, with @reflectivemaths and @icecolbeveridge: Colin has laser eye surgery and doesn’t care about Dave’s health… … but does care about 20481 . Colin mistakenly credits @notonlyahatrack for getting to 2048, when he meant 4096. Links: Numberphile, Cav, artificial intelligence 1

Read More

Sign up for the Sum Comfort newsletter and get a free e-book of mathematical quotations.

No spam ever, obviously.

Where do you teach?

I teach in my home in Abbotsbury Road, Weymouth.

It's a 15-minute walk from Weymouth station, and it's on bus routes 3, 8 and X53. On-road parking is available nearby.

On twitter