Posted in decision maths, modelling, probability

(This piece is based on a paper I read recently... but I can't find a reference for it. If you know which paper I mean, please let me know and I'll update.) There's a reason tennis knockout draws are seeded. I'll get to why in a moment. But first, let's

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Posted in ninja maths

(1452-1519. Leonardo was born just before the War of the Roses, and was about 40 when Columbus sailed to the Americas. He died not long after the start of the Reformation.) I bet you've heard of Leonardo. Perhaps you've been to see the Mona Lisa, maybe you've read the Da

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Posted in 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.

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Posted in ranting

Oh lookit! Another rant a-coming! As always, let me be clear: when I attack maths education, it is absolutely not an attack on teachers. I'm not a teacher because it's a ludicrously difficult job and I don't fancy it. When I attack maths education, it's entirely about the curriculum and

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Posted in ninja maths

When I was a mathematician, I used to look down on... well, non-mathematicians in general, but especially astronomers. Astronomers in particular got in the neck because their margins of error were so wide -- if two different models disagreed by a factor of 100 (it was said), they'd be counted

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Posted in 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.

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Posted in game theory, modelling, probability

From time to time, I come across a problem that has me scratching my head. In a good way. I like brain-teasers. Sometimes I solve them, sometimes I don't. This is one that I haven't solved -- but I wanted to share the thought process that goes into modelling the

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Posted in ninja maths

In the previous two parts (Part I and Part II), I showed you how to square three-digit numbers by splitting them up into hundreds and differences, and combining them in your head. So far so easy. But, you need to know your squares up to 50, and be happy multiplying

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