Sunday, 4 November 2012

The MathsJam conference is coming - what can I talk about?

The MathsJam weekend conference is only two weeks away!  It's only been going for two years but it's established as a highlight of the UK mathematical year.  Over 100 of us get together to spend a weekend talking mathematics, showing off tricks and toys, and generally sharing our delight in the subject.  The diverse attendance - all ages, amateurs and professionals, pure mathematicians and applied, ... - contributes to the joy of the MathsJam weekend.

The maths community is greatly indebted to those who set up and run this wonderful event - the founder Colin Wright, whose efforts ensure the smooth organisation of the event, and his supporting team of David Bedford, James Grime, Matt Parker and Rob Eastaway.  Colin tirelessly puts a huge amount of work into the event: mathematicians are wonderful people, but not necessarily easy to organise an event for!   The proceedings owe much in spirit to Martin Gardner: the whole mathematical world would have been very different without him.

At the MathsJam weekend all the talks are five minutes - time to present an inspiring idea but not time to teach, as Colin puts it.  And I can't think what to talk about!  Partly because I used up my best ideas at previous MathsJams.  Partly because I am so heavily engaged in preparing new teaching material for a new final year course that my mathematical creativity is all going into teaching just now.  I have a few ideas but am hoping for major inspiration in the next few days.

Hope to see you near Crewe later this month!

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