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Why do I do this?

Sometimes, just sometimes, I wonder if this juggling talk is worth the time and effort I put into it.
Colin Wright's lecture, 'Juggling, Theory and Practice' must be the most interesting, entertaining and compelling lecture I have attended in a very long career of lecture going. -- From a parent of a MathMasterc lass attendee.

Then I get an email like this one


Subject: Juggling Talk
Date: Thu, 20 Apr 2006

Dear Colin,

I don't know if you'll get this, but I thought I'd send a mail anyway. I just wanted to thank you for doing the juggling talk you do. You came to my school when I was 16 and from your talk that the school put on in Maths week, it got me really interested in Maths. I've since gone on to do a Maths and Computer Science degree (I hate the Comp Sci side, I wish I'd done more Maths) and I'm hoping to start Postgraduate studies in Group Theory in September if this year goes well. I wrote my dissertation on the Rubik's Cube and was asked to lecture on it in the final term (but I'm not sure that's going to go ahead any more just because of a lack of time).

I was just really sending this to thank you so much, as I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who you've saved from the murky depths of a financial type boring office job. Thank you again.

Yours Sincerely,

Claire <last name removed>



... or a blog posting like this one from
http://mathslog.wordpress.com/2007/05/11/mathematics-and-juggling/ ...


Mathematics and Juggling

May 11th, 2007

You may (or may not) be asking yourself, how did I get into math? Probably not, but anyway, there is one man and one man alone who is responsible for getting me interested in math, and his name is Colin Wright.

During the summer when I was 16, my school put on "Math week". Now I can see you going "*snigger* how rubbish is that?!" but there was a free trip to a big theme park involved. So you'd probably have gone too. On one of the days Colin was coming to give a talk entitled "Juggling: Theory and Practice". I thought, "This is a small price to pay to ride rollercoasters until I hurl". I couldn't have been more wrong. All I can remember about the talk was I was totally glued for about the hour he was talking. He juggled whilst going through ideas and proofs about how the balls interacted with each other and time. It's a perfect example of how fun and creative mathematics really is beyond school.


This from an organiser ...

"You are in a league of your own. What you do is amazing.
You are consistently excellent, admired by teachers, loved
by students and a great advertisement for mathematics.

"Thank you for sending the audience away on a high."

And now, in Dutch!

After the first National Mathematics Day conference in the
Netherlands the following appearing in a Dutch circulation.
I was only sent the clipping, so I don't know what it was
from:



I don't speak Dutch, so this translation is really using the technique I mention on the page Learning Languages.

I hope it's accurate. If not, Let Us Know.

Verder waren er nog sessies op het gebied van Wiskunde in de medische wetenschap en Geschiedenis van de wiskunde. Het is ondoenlijk alle evenementen recht te doen door ze te noemen. Echter, ongetwijfeld was de plenaire lezing van dr C.D.Wright een bijzonder hoogtepunt. Door zijn magistrale integratie van vingervlugheid en wiskundige interpretatie stal hij letterlijk en figuurlijk de show met zijn voordracht



Futhermore, there were also sessions in the field of mathematics in the medical sciences, and in the history of mathematics. It is infeasible to do all events justice by naming them. However, undoubtedly the plenary reading by Dr C.D.Wright was a particular high-point. By his magisterial integration of finger-dexterity and mathematical interpretation he literally and figuratively stole the show with his presentation

More emails ...

Subject: Great Lecture!
Date: Mon, 7 Mar 2005

Dear Dr. Colin Wright,

I recently attended one of your lectures in Glamorgan for the Royal Institution Mathematics Masterclasses for 13 to 14 year olds, and was amazed to find that you managed to make a mathematics lecture FUN! We have had many master classes but yours was by far the best, and probably the only one I have fully understood. Your talk has also inspired me to look on maths in a completely different light... and learn how to Juggle!

Thank you very much for the brilliant talk.

Yours faithfully, <name-removed>

PS. You were really good at Juggling!



Subject: Physics of Juggling
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 2004

This is bit of an informal email.. I hope you don't mind. Anyway, my name is <name-removed> and I am in the Lower Sixth studying physics. I attended your Physics of Juggling at London on the 7th. I loved it! It was brilliant, despite me doing A Level physics I have a phobia of maths and all this involving numbers, but your talk was so cool, it made me forget that there actually was some maths in what you were talking about.

Just wondered if you did lectures at schools? Your talk was so entertaining and informative.. thanks alot I had no idea that mathematicians could be so... would fun be the right word? No offence of course, I think it's just a stereotype people have.


Other random comments


References

See also: Hope to hear from you soon!

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