# MathsJam 2024 - Weekend of November 2nd/3rd

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# SATURDAY

## SESSION 1a 14:00-14:40

### A - MathsJam Team : Welcome to MathsJam

Introduction and welcome

### B - Peter Rowlett : Am I related to Henry VIII's Master of the Mint? Are you?

Peter explores the maths of genealogy and his own links with Ralph Rowlett, Master of the Mint in 1543.

### C - Alyssa Burlton : MathsJam Presentation Presentation

What makes the perfect MathsJam talk? Armed with an anonymised dataset from last year and some rusty statistics, I attempt to find some answers.

### D - Michael Gibson : A Talk You Will Either Love Or Hate

A woman has two children. One of them is a girl. What is the probability that the other one is a boy? What if, instead of being told "one of them is a girl", we are told "one of them is called Susan"? Does this change the answer? This "apparently simple" probability question has intrigued me for years, and has recently led me to consider a concept I will call "Marmitivity". I will share my thoughts on this with you in this thankfully brief talk. You will either love it or hate it!

### E - Fredrik Kirkemo and Ida Soland Thu : The Rubik's Dice

There are many magic tricks with Rubik's cubes and there are many magic tricks with dice. But there is a trick that brings the two worlds together. Our Rubik's dice are cubes with carefully numbered sides, that can be twisted and mixed so it's impossible to know anything about the numbers on the sides around the cube. Or so it seems. In this talk we demonstrate this trick with both a 2 and a 3 cube.

### F - Sam Hartburn : Ten to the Top, but Nine to the What?

Radio 2's morning music quiz has an interesting scoring system. I've analysed the possible scores to try to work out how fair it is.

## SESSION 1b 15:10pm-15:50

### A - J鴕n Hafver : A(I) useless robot

Live training of an AI image recognition model. Using model to control a micro:bit that will trigger something amazing.

### B - Ben Ashforth : Road Trip

How a talk at last year's MathsJam inspired me to make a journey which I had started planning 18 years earlier

### C - Alison Kiddle : Guess who doesn't belong

Let's play two games; "Which one doesn't belong?" and "Guess Who?" and take a look at the underlying maths that makes the games work!

### D - Phil Ramsden : Sliderules II: the Kolmogorov Connection

Three years ago I gave a talk about generalising the idea of a sliderule. This is the sequel, in which I show how a small adaptation sets up an unexpected link, and reveal how Andrey Kolmogorov scooped my previous talk by ninety years.

### E - Daniel Johnson : From Numberblocks to Polyominoes

What does a heartwarming Cbeebies show have to do with using binary words to count shapes?

### F - Tarim : Illogical Song Lyrics

Some song lyrics don't always make sense

## SESSION 1c 16:20-17:00

### A - Hugh Hunt : Pi Pong

You'll have maybe seen on youtube that pi can be computed by counting the number of collisions between unequal masses. This is an [excellent video explainer](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsYwFizhncE) and here's an [article by Colin Wright on the same subject](https://aperiodical.com/2015/03/%CF%80-phase-space-and-bouncing-billiard-balls/). OK, it's fine in the maths but has anyone ever tried to do the experiment for real? Does it work? Let's see!

### B - Robin Houston : Simpler Substitution for Spectres

The world is abuzz with talk of new aperiodic monotiles: the hat and the spectre. I particularly like the spectre. The spectre paper explains how to understand the structure of spectre tilings in terms of a system of nine regular hexagons with marked edges. But this system is quite intimidating. It turns out you can actually do it with five: I抣l give a sketch of how that works, with lots of nice pictures.

### C - Luna Kirkby : Buz: A Fizz Buzz Story

Luna presents a rapid-fire history lesson: What is Fizz Buzz? Some of Fizz Buzz's weirder variations; and Where did this Fizz Buzz thing come from anyway?

### D - Donald Bell : Rectangling Squares and Rectangles

Can you tile a square with several rectangles that have no repeated side lengths? And can you tile TWO different rectangles with a set of rectangles that have no repeated side lengths? And can you make a nice multi-solution puzzle from rectangling rectangles?

### E - David Hartburn : How to avoid zombies

Why is it difficult sometimes to avoid people on wide paths, when there is clearly space for everyone to pass?

### F - Nessa Carson : Molecules that barely exist

Chemistry is driven by the release of energy and enthalpy (or chaos... very broadly speaking). Some of the most reactive organic chemistry works by reactively releasing strain within a molecule. This strain comes (again, broadly speaking) from electrons that are forced away from their geometrically-perfect orbitals. I'll be playing with Molymod kits that I think represent the geometries of molecules very well - just at 10^24 of their scale!

## SESSION 1d 17:30-18:10

### A - Sammie Buzzard : Spurious mathematical claims? How much of Antarctica is really penguin pee?

"3% of the ice in Antarctica's glaciers are penguin pee" - a claim I was made aware of at a previous Gathering, and one which I finally decided to use my glaciological and mathematical knowledge to put to the test.

### B - Colin Graham : Know your place!

Many of you in England may have been exposed to a perculiary English activity known as "change ringing". This is mostly associated with churches in the Anglican faith, with some Episcopalian churches elsewhere in the world also being participants. There is a good deal of mathematics involved in how bells are rung in order to produce all of the possible combinations/permutations. Could you memorize 49,001,600 different combinations when only pairs of bells can change position? I will tell you how it can be done!

### C - Tom Briggs : Secret Histories: Spotting the Hidden Maths in Museums

A museum isn't the first place most people would expect to find mathematics, but that's not because there isn't any there.

### D - Alexander Bolton : Abundant Numbers

Abundant numbers, e.g. 12, 60, 360, are useful as they have many factors. I will show how common these numbers are and how to find them.

### Saturday night tables : Elevator Pitches

A chance to find out about the activities on offer on Saturday evening

# SUNDAY

## SESSION 2a 08:45-09:30

### A - Matt Parker : Calculating Pi by hand

Matt talks about plans to break the world record for most digits of pi calculated by hand. And how you can help!

### B - Bob Huxley : When is Pi Day on Mars?

Earthlings celebrate Mathematics on March 14 (3.14) or July 22 (22/7). What's the Martian equivalent?

### C - Annette Margolis : Our preferred way of solving a quadratic is

I will be setting a quadratic to solve in class and each group will argue why their way is the best. The talk will be the results of this informal poll.

### D - John Hoskinson : Beyond Diffy Squares

What happens if we apply the rules for Diffy Squares to other Polygons

### E - Alistair Bird : Speaking truth to powers

In 1937, a mathematician suddenly leapt out of his mineral bath, rushed naked into the adjoining room, and began to scribble figures. We抣l talk about what he wrote, and what it can teach us.

### F - Adam Atkinson : DOCTIAL

Thanks to recentish developments in Mis鑢e Games, Adam deduced the existence of and his membership of DOCTIAL and hopes that some people in the audience will discover that they, too, are members even though they've never heard of it.

### G - Harlan Connor : Winning the loudness war

I will show how some simple maths leads to some surprising (and loud!) results in signal processing.

## SESSION 2b 10:00-10:45

### A - Alex Arthur : A Sleepy German Village with an odd fountain

In September I visited France. I went to Strasbourg and saw an interesting fountain. It feels quite mathsy, but is it? Let's explore this fountain.

### B - Tony Mann : An amusing magic square

I will present an amusing magic square (at least, it amuses me)

### C - Gavan Fantom : Meet the Flight Computer - a glorified slide rule

Although modern electronic tools are available for flight planning, pilots are still taught how to plan flights using a mechanical Flight Computer - a circular slide rule on one side, and an ingenious vector calculator on the other. Join me for a practical demonstration of this (nearly) century-old device and some of the calculations it can do quickly and efficiently.

### D - Miles Gould : Surprising turns

A lathe is like a potter's wheel for wood or metal, allowing the user to create parts with circular symmetry about an axis. But with a small modification the lathe can produce a completely different family of shapes. This talk tries to answer two questions: "How the heck does that work?" and "Where have we seen this before?".

### E - Vanessa Madu : An Alternative Approach to Mathematical Modelling

There are lots of precise, rigorous, and inspired ways to construct a mathematical ocean model; I will not be talking about any of those. Instead, we will discuss a method born in the depths of my struggle to pull together my master抯 dissertation; an alternative approach to mathematical modelling.

### F - Joey Marianer : The True Prisoner's Dilemma

Plenty of people have intuitions about the Prisoner's Dilemma. Let's throw a little bit of a spanner in the works.

### G - Andrew Taylor : Rotating an image without rotation

A demonstration of a graphic trick used by some old videogames, which manages to rotate an image using three shears. It's a lot faster than "real" rotation, and while it can look a little fuzzy, it has a couple of nice properties.

## SESSION 2c 11:15-11:55

### A - Matt Peperell : Showing off my curves

Most of us will be familiar with the conic sections and the trigonometric functions. In this talk, I will explain some of the lesser known curves and their uses in the world around us.

### B - Pedro Freitas : A 19th century lottery - with a deck of cards

We present a lottery system, conceived by a Portuguese scholar, that uses a deck of cards as a means of implementation (collaboration with Jorge Nuno Silva).

### C - Ben Handley : How square is a circle?

Jay Foreman has a video (https://youtu.be/8mrNEVUuZdk) about finding the squarest country. But how can we judge the squareness of a shape? What happens when we try to find the squareness of a simple shape like a circle?

### D - Clare Wallace : Skittles: count the rainbow?

Packaging says all sorts of nonsense: "it's not for girls", "only smarties have the answer", "every packet of Skittles is unique". They're all different kinds of wrong, but the Skittles one is the worst: it's *mathematically* wrong. Obviously we're going to work out how many different packets of Skittles there are. Obviously I've bought tons of Skittles. Obviously you'll get the chance to eat some.

## SESSION 2d 12:25-12:50

### A - Adam Townsend : Differential equations make pretty moving patterns (and now you can too)

When mathematicians want to talk about things that move and change, we talk about differential equations: heat spreading out in a room, sheep herds moving to fresh fields... Biologists have known for ages that when you have *two* competing populations both trying to spread out, the fun really starts. Modelling this was Alan Turing's day job, and what took him six months to compute, we can now do on our phones in real time. There are so many rich, pretty, dynamic, surprising patterns that you get from relatively straightforward equations and this last year I have been part of a team building a website that instantly solves equations like this in the browser (think Desmos but for partial differential equations). In this talk I'll show you just how cool these solutions are.

### B - Hannah Gray : Gender in the Groove: Are Half Our Tunes Topped by Dudes?

An off-hand comment when playing Heardle led to an investigation into whether 50% of songs are sung by men.

### C - Colin Wright : The Moebius Rollercoaster

Some rollercoaster rides are described as "Moebius" ... where's the twist?

### D - MathsJam Team : Wrap-up and thanks

Final session to wrap up the event and thank everyone

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