The Flying Colours Maths Blog: Latest posts

The insidious maths of payday loans (with added logarithms)

Compared to regular small print, it's pretty big, but compared to the four-panel, faux-war-era comic story (disaster strikes, protagonist calls Rent-A-Loan*, cash magically appears and they all live happily ever after), you could easily overlook it. You might even look at the bottom of the poster and think "that can't

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Secrets of the mathematical ninja: some numbers worth knowing

Learning the rough value of a few key numbers worth knowing can make ninja maths a lot more impressive later on - especially if you know how roughly how rough the rough values are. A little bit about the tables below: I'm giving you decimals to two sig figs, the

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Free for all Friday

The end of the week already? Doesn't it fly? Well, what can I help you with this week? Just drop me a comment below and I'll do what I can to answer it.

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Quotable maths – Polya

I am too good for philosophy and not good enough for physics. Mathematics is in between. - George Polya, author of How To Solve It, one of my favourite maths books.

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Completing the square – the easy way

-or- matching coefficients for fun and profit I bluffed my way through completing the square at A-level. I guessed, dropped minus signs, and dropped marks all the way. It was only once I started teaching it that I figured out completing the square. Let me share it with you. Completing

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Secrets of the Mathematical Ninja: The surprising integration rule you don’t get taught in school

Difficulty: ** Impressiveness: **** If you do A-level maths, you do an awful lot of integration. You integrate polynomials, trig functions, partial fractions, exponentials, parametric curves, products of these... and get nice analytical answers. Here, let me provoke controversy: Unless you're going to be a pure mathematician or a maths

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Free for all Friday (Good Friday edition)

It's the Easter break, time to make good on all those promises to put the work in before the exams! How can I help you this week? What's bothering you? Where are you stuck? Let me know in the comments and I'll get back to you as soon as I

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The three secrets to successful revision

There's a dark cloud looming. It's already April and the AS and A2 maths exams are unusually early this year. So, the question is, what can you do to revise effectively without driving yourself crazy? Here are my top three tips for getting on top of the material rather than

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