MathsJam 2023 - Weekend of November 11th/12th

Tickets that include accommodation now sold out.

Tickets that do not include accommodation are now available.

If you need a residential ticket, email us for the waiting list.

See also:

Talks and Abstracts from 2022


SESSION 1a : 14:00 - 14:45

A - Colin Wright : Welcome to MathsJam

Welcome, setting the scene, and generally getting underway

B - Zoe Griffiths : The Great Collatz Collab

Zoe talks about the process of making a poster of a giant Collatz map made from snippets of hundreds of other maps drawn by school students.

C - John Bibby : Is 2023 a Prime Number?

How can 2023 be used as a seed for introducing non-mathematicians to the uses of prime numbers? This is a dummy run for a 30-minute talk in January to my local U3A, so I would welcome suggestions regarding further ideas to include.

D - Alistair Bird : Inequalities and inflation measures

We'll talk about how inflation is measured via the Retail and Consumer Price indices (RPI and CPI) and how a famous inequality is important to understanding the difference between them.

E - Christian Lawson-Perfect : Talk talk talk talk talk choo choo!

Five talks about the maths of trains. I'll warn you that I know a lot more about maths than I know about trains!

F - Colin Graham : Size isn't everything!

Why is A4 called A4? I will be looking at why we have the current standard paper sizes.

G - Mark Fisher : Dealing with Liar's Dice

An explanation of Liar's Dice and some variants is on the cards

H - Sam Hartburn : Icosahedral Ocarinas

I'll show you how to make an icosahedral ocarina out of cardboard.

SESSION 1b : 15:10 - 15:55

A - Sydney Weaver : Math Is Hard, Can we make it Easier?

Sydney will demonstrate through a variety of methods why math is hard sometimes and what we can do to potentially make it a little bit easier

B - Mike Frost : George Abell and the End of Humanity

George Ogden Abell (1927-1983) was a distinguished American astronomer and much-respected educator. In his 1978 textbook "The Drama of the Universe" he proved mathematically that mankind could not continue to exist beyond 20th August 2023. Assuming he's not correct (and a few months late with his prediction), I'll explain why I think his analysis was wrong.

C - Miles Gould : Tactical Unruly

Last year I got badly addicted to the puzzle game Unruly, also known as Takuzu, Binairo, or Sudoku Binary. But after a while I noticed that only a handful of tactics seemed to be necessary. Was that limitation real, or was it possible to construct harder puzzles?

D - Colin Wright : When it's pippish, sides don't matter

When playing backgammon it's occasionally necessary to calculate who's ahead in the running. There are a lot of techniques for doing this, but a surprising result can make it easier than expected.

E - Sophie Maclean : Do the Dougie

Spoiler: I do not do the Dougie. But I do talk about one Dougie in particular...

F - Alison Kiddle : GeoGebra One-liners

What's the most interesting thing that can be drawn in GeoGebra using just one line of code in the Input Bar?

G - Dave Budd : Absurd Proofs

There are so many ways to geometrically construct the golden ratio with ruler and compass. Given the golden ratio is defined in a geometrical way, we should be able to prove geometrically without using surds that a construction is golden just by using geometry too, right?

H - Tony Mann : Good and bad luck in maths

Like everything else in life, mathematics is affected by luck. I'll give a examples of good and bad luck in mathematical discoveries and careers, including describing how one student was particularly unlucky in their degree final year maths exam.

SESSION 1c 16:20 - 17:05

A - Belgin Seymenoglu : The Wi-Fi integral: no integration required

Belgin solves a nasty-looking integral without integration.

B - Peter Rowlett : On-Sets: a vintage game of set theory

On-Sets is a game designed in the mid 1960s to teach set theory and has some cool dice. I’ll talk about the game and some puzzles that arise from it, and bring a set you can have a play with.

C - Paul Kennedy : Clapping Music – a music lesson and some counting

Steve Reich’s Clapping Music and some maths, including the number of possible clapping musics.

D - Philipp Reinhard : Graphs for divisibility rules

We explore how directed graphs provide divisibility rules, also for the number 7 or whatever your favourite number happens to be. And it will work in any base. The graphs turn out to be rather beautiful and quite similar to fractals.

E - Hannah Gray : Arithmeum: fun with calculating machines

I accidentally found another fun and mathematically interesting place to visit so this is a quick guide to the Arithmmeum in Bonn.

F - Michael Gibson : The Joy of Six

Six is my favourite number. I will demonstrate why by tackling a set of problems, which ought to take at least 30 minutes to complete, in less than 5 minutes. My only trick - utilising the magical power of six!

G - Colin Beveridge : A pair of puzzles

I have a couple of puzzles to share with you. They involve quilts, flapjacks and resistors.

H - Phil Ramsden : Fun With Digit Sums

We all know digit sums are great for checking whether numbers are divisible by 3 or 9, but there’s more to them than that. Think of a number; think of a (prime) base; and express your number in that base. Calculate the digit sum, subtract it from the number you first thought of, divide by one less than the base (you’ll find it goes), and hey presto — what, exactly?

SESSION 1d : 17:30 - 18:15

Saturday Night Tables : Elevator Pitches for Saturday Night Tables activities

The organisers of Saturday Night tables activities (taking place 8-9pm) will have a chance to explain/describe what they'll be doing.

A - Eliza Gallagher & Neil Calkin : Ordering Chaos: Bring Your Crayons

We explore a collection of variant sudoku constraints with some surprising and surprisingly powerful implications.

B - John Read : Bernoulli (Seki) Numbers

A talk introducing these numbers and some of their history.

C - Alyssa Burlton : Child's Play? The mathematics of stacking cups

When Sam came to stay with me one evening in September, we didn't have any plans. But then he mentioned something in passing: while watching his daughter playing with her stacking cups he'd thought, "there's probably some maths in this". Rum was poured. The whiteboard was deployed. This is some of what we found.

D - Tom Reddington : Tom's Dating Life

Tom spends five minutes showing off his dating skills.

E - Jocelyn D'Arcy : Relationship status: 'real', 'imaginary', or 'it's complex'

A question doing the rounds on twitter got me thinking about complex numbers as exponents.

F - Ben Sparks : What are the chances?

A classic probability question with a surprisingly confident answer.


SESSION 2a : 08:55 - 09:40

B - Andrew Taylor : A more intuitive model of the complex numbers

I recently happened across an explanation of complex numbers that made a lot of things feel intuitive that had previously felt a bit opaque. I hadn't seen it before and wanted to share it

C - Clare Wallace : A BODMAS Sandwich

We've all seen the memes: "What's 6÷2(1+2)?" - and we've all tried to explain to someone that there isn't really a right answer: it's just a badly written question. I have a plan for how food can help us to put a stop to this nonsense, once and for all.

D - Toby Holland : How to not lose at games

A quick overview of rational behaviour, common knowledge, and iterated learning whilst playing games - using some data from previous MathsJam competitions...

E - John Henry Hoskinson : Convincing a non-mathematician.

Conversations I had with a very clever friend, trying to convince him 1 = 0.9 reoccurring and how it lead to me coming up with a number of proofs to try convince him. Conclusion not always possible to convince a Non-maths using Maths proofs , There are many ways of proofing the same result.

F - Jen Sparks : RAF Maths

Some maths worth discussing that I see from a perspective of 10 years flying in the RAF and now being a secondary maths teacher.

SESSION 2b : 10:05 - 10:45

A - Goran Newsum : Sometimes it's OK to let your votes run-off

A short dive into the maths behind Run-Off electoral systems

B - David Hartburn : Maths or Conspiracy?

Comparing some real maths with some maths popular with some conspiracy theorists.

C - Tarim : How do trains go round corners?

It's not as obvious as you might first think...

D - Rob Woolley : Root of 1

How can you get from just 1 to everything we know about numbers

E - TD Dang : The Fluid Dynamics of Incy Wincy Spider


F - James Grime : Birthday Magic Squares

How to make a birthday magic square.

SESSION 2c : 11:05 - 11:40

A - Katie Chicot : From MathsCity to MathsWorld

The UK is alone among the world’s industrialised nations in having no public attraction dedicated to the discovery and celebration of mathematics. From MoMath in New York City to Seocho Math Museum in Seoul, innovative maths discovery centres across the globe are engaging children and young people with maths, from an early age – inspiring interest and confidence in a subject that is at the cutting edge of research in global growth sectors such as engineering, medicine, Artificial Intelligence, FinTech and more. MATHSWORLD aims to transform the UK public’s perception of mathematics - revealing the engaging, aesthetic and surprising side of maths and empowering people to explore mathematics for themselves. In this talk I’ll show where the project is up to, what’s next and hopefully where you can get involved too.

B - Matthew Scroggs : Runge's phenomenon

I'll be talking about what can go wrong if you use polynomials to approximate things, and how you experiment with this using a Twitter/Mathstodon bot I made.

C - Adam Townsend : How tall is that bridge?

Adam wonders how many bridges he can drive a lorry under

D - Gavan Fantom : The Laplace Transform

The Laplace Transform is widely used in certain fields of mathematics and engineering, and yet remains strangely unknown to the rest of us. Find out what it is and why it's so useful in this brief introduction.

E - Adam Atkinson : Maths for Time-Travellers, Briefing 17

When you travel in time, as well as dressing appropriately and learning the language of the time, there can be bits of maths appropriate to the period as well.

F - Annette Margolis : Extending the Twelve Days of Christmas to get the next Square Triangular number of Gifts

The total number of gifts on each day of the Twelve Days of Christmas is a triangular number, such that it is: 1 on the first day, 3 on the second, 6 on the third and so forth. However, on the first day and the eighth day the lucky (?) recipient receives 1 gift and 36 gifts in total respectively. How many days do we need to extend those twelve days so they receive another square triangular number of gifts? And is there a pattern to enable us to predict these square triangular numbers? Is there an infinite number of square triangular numbers?

SESSION 2d : 11:55 - 12:30

A - Competition results : Bakeoff Results

Winners of the MathsJam Bakeoff

B - Competition results : Competition Competition results

Winners of the Competition Competition and the Competition Competition Competitions

C - Robin Houston : Polyhedra whose faces meet at right-angles except on one edge

In 1968, the Swiss mathematician J-P Sydler described a hilariously complicated polyhedron whose faces meet at right-angles except on one edge where they meet at 45°. This suggests the game of trying to find other and/or simpler “single angle” polyhedra. Theoretically such polyhedra should exist for any angle whose sine (or cosine) is an algebraic number, but that theory doesn't tell you how to actually find the things. I'll explain what little I know about finding such polyhedra, and show some examples, and invite the audience to find more.

D - Hannah Gostling : I love hexagons!

Hexagons are awesome. I'll show you some reasons why.

E - Joel Haddley : Jim Morrison. Poet. Singer. Economist?

This talk seeks to contribute to the debate and analysis surrounding Jim Morrison’s lyrics.

F - Katie Steckles : The No-Three-In-Line problem

Katie talks about an open conjecture she found interesting recently.
Links to this page / Page history / Last change to this page
Recent changes / Edit this page (with sufficient authority)
All pages / Search / Change password / Logout