The Flying Colours Maths Blog: Latest posts

Ask Uncle Colin: A surprising order

Dear Uncle Colin, How come $0.3^{0.3} > 0.4^{0.4}$? - Puzzling Over It, Some Surprisingly Ordered Numbers Hi, POISSON, and thank you for your message! It is a bit surprising, isn't it? You would expect $x^x$ to increase everywhere, at first glance. Why it doesn't We can see that this isn't

Read More

The Maths Behind… Cakes

"Cooking," said my friend Liz in a recent Facebook post, "is one of the activities where maths is most useful in my everyday life." She added this picture: I've got several reasons for wanting to share this. 1. It's pretty much a model answer Imagine you're in a GCSE exam,

Read More

Ask Uncle Colin: Solve this!

Dear Uncle Colin, I need to find the largest solution to $e^x + \sin(x)=0$ and I don't really know where to start. Any ideas? - Some Options Look Virtually Equal Hi, SOLVE, and thanks for your message! That is something we in the trade call 'not a very nice equation

Read More

A New Year’s Resolution: Diversity

Yes I count how many women's voices I hear in your podcast. — Rose Eveleth ▷▷ (@roseveleth) October 31, 2017 So do we. We are aware of, and unhappy about, the predominance of heterosexual, cisgendered white men in mathematics, and we want to play a part in addressing that. Since

Read More

Ask Uncle Colin: How can I be neater?

Dear Uncle Colin, I keep being told my work needs to be tidier, but I'm not really sure how to go about that. Do you have any suggestions? - My Exercises Skew Scruffy Hello, MESS, and thanks for your message. I totally feel your pain. In honesty, this is like

Read More

Glittering like a Christmas tree

"It is like a cave that seemed to be absolutely sparkling with jewels. Maths glittered like a Christmas tree at me." - Amanda Spielman, at the Education Select Committee, October 30th 2017 What an image. What an image. Caves are dark, and cold, and slightly frightening, but buried deep within,

Read More

Ask Uncle Colin: A Gambling Fallacy

Dear Uncle Colin, Does the Law Of Large Numbers contradict the fact that the Gambler's Fallacy is a fallacy? - Got A Monkey Backing Liverpool In November's Games Hi, GAMBLING, and thanks for your message! The short answer is: no. I imagine you want a bit more detail than that,

Read More

In Praise of… LaTeX

The summer of 2003 was a glorious one in Fife: blazing sunshine, warm-but-not-too-warm, a lovely fresh breeze blowing in off of the North Sea. At least, I'm told it was glorious. I was stuck in room 226, preparing two versions of my PhD thesis as my supervisor had decided a

Read More

Ask Uncle Colin: A peculiar triangle

Dear Uncle Colin, I have a triangle. All I know is that its angles, $\alpha$, $\beta$ and $\gamma$, satisfy $\cos(\alpha)=\frac{1}{4}$ and $\gamma = 30º$ - and I have to find $\tan(\beta)$. Help! - Can't Obviously See It, Need Explanation Hi, COSINE, and thanks for your message! This is one that

Read More

Wrong, But Useful: Episode 51, featuring @suedepom

Sue de Pomerai joins Colin and Dave for this month's episode of Wrong, But Useful. We discuss: Her work for FMSP and MEI and, previously as a teacher Sue's alter ego, Ada Lovelace, and getting more young women into maths Colin writes books: he mentions Cracking Mathematics and some good

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.