Wrong, But Useful: Episode 52

In this month's episode of Wrong, But Useful, we are joined by maths communication superhero @stecks, who is Katie Steckles in real life.

We discuss:

  • Katie's numerous and various activities as a maths freelancer, including maths busking and being a mathematician-in-residence at the Stephen Lawrence Gallery at the University of Greenwich.
  • Number of the podcast: 145; it’s a factorion, like 1, 2 and 40585 (and no others).
  • A discussion between @jussumchick, @colinthemathmo, @mrmattock, and dozens more on the difference between an expression, equation, formula and identity.
  • The 1089 trick and the Magic Gopher
  • @solvemymaths’s request for mathematical wows - tell us your wows @wrongbutuseful, @icecolbeveridge, @reflectivemaths, and @stecks. I'm sure @solvemymaths would want to know, too.
  • A new 'largest' prime
  • @pozorvlak (Miles Gould) has his Big MathsJam talk up: How Mountaineering is like maths. Katie's gym machines are unsatisfactory. Colin found a 'football'.
  • What would a ‘my first shapes’ book look like if it was done well?
  • Which One Doesn't Belong?
  • A poll from @peterrowlett (and @colinthemathmo’s reply)
  • A numerical pyramid from @milasaintanne
  • Katie is in Edinburgh for a puzzle hunt
  • Katie is also involved in MathsFest - the London date is sold out, but there are (currently) tickets available for the Birmingham gig on the 23rd of January.
  • Puzzle feedback: two gold stars for @chrishazell72 for answering the two previous puzzles.
  • New puzzle: If you fold a piece of A4 paper in half three times, always folding the long edge in half, then cut all four corners off, how many holes will there be in the paper?


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.


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