How (not) to memorise mathematics

Mathematicians are storytellers. At times it is obvious, as in the case of Charles Dodgson, the 19th century Christ Church maths fellow who is better known for his literary works — you know him by his alias, Lewis Carroll. But storytelling is a natural device for the everyday mathematician too. My friend Ed once told me that... Continue Reading →


Does maths make you moral?

I don’t usually mix maths with morality, but two events collided last week to force the issue. On Tuesday, I awoke to the horrific news of events in Manchester. Early indications were a terror attack; 22 dead, scores injured, all innocent. On the train ride into the office, I found myself probing the deeper meaning... Continue Reading →

Thinking in the age of cyborgs

We have our clearest indication yet that the cyborgs are coming. Elon Musk has formally accepted his invitation to the AI party the only way he knows how: by founding a company. Neuralink will create brain-enhancing digital implants; the first step on the road to merging humans with software. Musk has taken on the mantel... Continue Reading →

Mathematics without history is soulless

π through the ages I devoted some of my vacation to perusing the Rhind papyrus. It makes for fascinating reading. Dated 1650 BC (and now housed in the British Museum), this five-metre long scroll captures the rich mathematical legacy of Egypt. The pyramids of Giza stand tall as testimony to the Egyptians’ amazing skill and temperament... Continue Reading →

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