Set Point

Recent changes
Table of contents
Links to this page

This article appeared in a Scottish newspaper - name to be confirmed. It is reproduced here without permission and will disappear if I'm challenged on the matter.

I've taken the liberty of correcting a few small errors.

Colin is watched by Caileag Walker, of Aberdeen Grammar School,
and Andrew Freeland, of Harlow Academy. Picture by Kami Thomson

by Angela Taylor

The ability to juggle figures is a requirement for mathematicians - but most of them don't actually throw them in the air.

Colin Wright, however, is a different matter.

And yesterday he demonstrated to north-east schoolchildren how juggling and maths tumble together.

His lecture, Juggling: Theory and Practice, might have given the impression of a display of juggling skills, but it actually covered many levels of maths and science, how they work, what they mean and why they are important

Dr Wright is one of the creators of Site swap, a form of notation which allows juggling patterns to be written out in a similar way to music, allowing jugglers around the world to share each other's techniques, and jugglers of the future to copy classic patterns.

By juggling three balls and explaining the Site swap notation he explains not just mathematical formulae but also time travel and the speed of light.

He said: "So much of the mathematics done in class is related to essential skills like arithmetic and skills that are essential in their other subjects ... and they really don't get to see the other side of it.

"Mathematics is everywhere if you know where to look for it - how traffic flows, people move about, buildings stand up.

"If I can save one child from a life in accountancy and turn them to do maths or science instead, then I've won."

The event, organised by science and maths charity Set point Scotland North as the Christmas lecture for the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, was attended by about 175 pupils and teachers.

Dr Wright will be performing at Robert Gordon University again today for some of the north-east's top young mathematicians, to mark the halfway stage of their Royal Institution Mathematics Masterclass series, also organised by Set point Scotland North.

See Juggling Talk Feedback for, unsurprisingly, more feedback ...


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!