Wrong, But Useful: Episode 3


It's the awkward third episode! In which...


Colin is a Weymouth maths tutor, author of several Maths For Dummies books and A-level maths guides. He started Flying Colours Maths in 2008. He lives with an espresso pot and nothing to prove.

  1. Correction: Feynman would have been 95 this month, not 99 as Colin says. []
  2. Oops []


27 comments on “Wrong, But Useful: Episode 3

  • Christian Perfect

    Yeah, let’s say I knew that fact about the conversion from miles to km. There’s basically no way of disproving that.

    I don’t know of any Taulish poetry, but Mike Keith, the master of Pilish, has written a huge mnemonic for tau in Pilish: http://www.cadaeic.net/centaurs.htm.

    Re interesting times: it was 12:46 that I can’t find an interesting fact about. It looks enough like 12:36 and 12:48 to lead you to believe it should be similarly interesting.

  • Sherri Burroughs

    Enjoying this podcast of yours immensely. Love the variety of topics. I hear you about the explaining type questions…you would think you were asking them to eat mud. Wish your MathsJam Weekend wasn’t so far away…maybe when I retire!

    • Dave Gale

      Thanks for the lovely comments Sherri.
      I just don’t understand what’s wrong with the explaining questions (oh, except that you have to think of course).

  • twentythree

    Another great episode, very enjoyable.

  • Dan Pearcy

    A few things I like about this episode:

    1) Completely forgot about the Feynman point in pi – nice reminder.

    2) Dave’s point: “You’re more creative when you have some constraints.” – good point when it comes to trying to get students creative in maths. Too open an investigation/problem and students are often put off.

    3) I’ve been thinking a lot about assessment recently so nice to hear other people complaining of the absolute hash we call assessment in mathematics.

    A few points (which could be complete cogswollop) but just in case it helps:

    1) The golden ratio is the limit of the ratio of consecutive terms in the fibonacci sequence (1.618…) and the conversion between miles and kilometers is 1.61 so with small distances (but not too small), the conversion between miles and kilometers is going close to the terms in fibonacci sequence.

    2) Matrix multiplication – One use of it is of course in solving a system of equations. When you “break up” a system of equations into a matrix of coefficients and a matrix of n variables then the method of matrix multiplication at least makes sense from the perspective of having an n by n matrix multiplied by an n by 1 matrix. When you consider an application of that in using matrix multiplication to do transformations of co-ordinates then it makes sense on a more general level. (be interested in seeing comments of people who know more about matrix multiplication). In fact, I think you may have inspired a blog post on it.

    Thanks again for the podcast, some great little gems in there.

    Dan [@DanielPearcy btw :-)]

  • srcav

    Hey guys, lI’ve episode 3! Especially Sgt Gale bringing down the hammer on phoney word equations!

    The miles to km conversion link with the golden ratio and fib numbers also had me going: “Aaaah, why haven’t I noticed that before”!

    Love the volume of revolution use in gardening!

    Re Matrices: I think looking at transformation matices and their affects gives the best sense.

    Have had a go at the problem and tweeted my solution.

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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.

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