In this month’s episode of Wrong, But Useful, @reflectivemaths ((Dave Gale in real life)) and I are joined by consultant and lapsed mathematician @freezingsheep ((Mel in real life)).

We discuss:

  • Mel’s career trajectory into ‘maths-enabled type things that are not actually maths’, although she gets to wave her hands a lot.
  • What you can do with a maths degree, the dangers of ‘this can lead you anywhere’, and the shift from one perfect answer to something good enough.
  • Construction-based metaheuristics for personnel scheduling problems, and what any of those words mean.
  • Number of the podcast: 15,339,878.
  • Euclidea, revisited, and measuring my dad’s banister
  • Dave has a joke.
  • Short bits:
    • Mathstodon (via @christianp ((Christian Lawson-Perfect in real life)) )
    • SumMaths meetup at Bletchley Park, August 27th (via @mathsjem ((Jo Morgan in real life)) )
    • Talking Maths In Public at University of Bath, September 1st-2nd (via @stecks ((Katie Steckles in real life)) and @sparksmaths ((Ben Sparks in real life)) ).
  • Things you don’t appreciate until later, and common sense
  • I am currently reading Yes, But Why, by @solvemymaths ((Ed Southall in real life))
  • Eurovision voting - with mentions to AV, graded voting, and the D’Hondt method.
  • Puzzle feedback: five possible answers to the previous puzzle: (8,3,3), (5,4,3), (15,4,2), (9,5,2) and (7,6,2) Gold stars for @alephthought ((Chris Hellings in real life)), our loyal Australian ambassador Sam Steele, @dragon_dodo ((Dominika Vasilkova in real life)) @chrishazell72 ((Chris Hazell in real life)).
  • Dave thinks you shouldn’t buy any of my books.
  • Suppose you have a stack of twelve numbered pancakes in an arbitrary order. Insert your spatula below one of the pancakes and flip all of the pancakes above it upside down. What is the most efficient way to get them in order?