Maths Improvisation

Recent changes
Table of contents
Links to this page

At the Maths Inspiration event held in Greenwich on March 9th, 2006, Rob Eastaway introduced a completely new idea:

The audience was invited to submit topics, and a few of these were chosen at random. The speakers were then challenged to speak for two minutes or more on the mathematics of that topic.

Topics at the Greenwich event included the mathematics of ...

... and more. Were you there? Can you remember some of the others? Let us know if you can!

I'm not going to give any of the answers here - I may get asked them again!

Maths Improvisation proved to be a great success, and is likely to be included in future events, despite being very hard on the speakers' nerves.

Some time later this was tried again, this time with Year 10s. Included below is the list of topics received.

This list is not typical of entries we've had in previous Maths Inspiration events. Teachers had been invited to speak with the students about possible topics, and the different age group may have made a difference.

There is also the question of how much of this they really want to know, and how much is designed just to make the speakers look stupid.

On the other hand - does it matter?

  • Maths of jam doughnuts
  • The maths of time travel (2)
  • War (2)
  • Tips for solving sudoku (2)
  • The meaning of life (3)
  • "Life" (2)
  • Russia
  • What's the maths behind the recorder or the clarinet
  • Ambigrams or cheese [interesting choice!!]
  • Boys
  • Why do spinning objects move faster through the air than non-spinning objects?
  • Why do bad things happen to good people?
  • Chess
  • Guitar
  • Which idiot created maths?
  • How highly tuned are a cat's senses?
  • Why are triangles so strong, and is there a stronger shape?
  • Why do people like hiphop better than punk rock?
  • Earth
  • Food
  • Strategies for the game of 20 with more than two players.
  • Maths of tennis.
  • Isaac newton's hairstyle
  • Abnormal hair growth
  • Kamasutra
  • Mr Blobby
  • How to curl a football when taking a free kick
  • "Stuff"
  • Free running
There were others that were too rude to put here.


There were no headings
in the main text so there
is no table of contents.

Links on this page

Site hosted by Colin and Rachel Wright:
  • Maths, Design, Juggling, Computing,
  • Embroidery, Proof-reading,
  • and other clever stuff.

Suggest a change ( <-- What does this mean?) / Send me email
Front Page / All pages by date / Site overview / Top of page

Universally Browser Friendly     Quotation from
Tim Berners-Lee
    Valid HTML 3.2!