How many socks make a pair?
Maths for Mums and Dads


I've written or co-written eleven books, some of which have appeared in several languages. The majority are about the maths of everyday life, but I've also written books on cricket, memory and creative thinking.



I am Director of Maths Inspiration, a national programme of interactive lecture shows in theatres that has reached over 100,000 teenagers in the last ten years. I'm closely involved with the UK maths community, from primary schools to universities.


Talks & Radio

I give talks to adults and children that range from small interactive workshops to keynote lectures in front of several hundred. I've also done lots of radio, including BBC Radio 4, 5Live, Radio 3 and 2, but not 1 or 6...yet.

Recent Blogs

Homework Should be for Parents, Not Kids
6 January 15

Most maths homework for primary children is a tedious chore. Schools should set homework that parents enjoy. more...

How Donald Duck created an Urban Myth
19 December 14

From architecture to credit cards, myths about the beauty of the golden rectangle are hard to dispel. It's Donald Duck's fault. more...

What can the Chinese learn from us?
1 December 14

English schools are discovering some highly effective teaching methods from the Chinese. But what can the Chinese learn from us? more...

Problem Solving and Jardin's Principle
2 October 14

A universal syndrome that is often observed but doesn't have a name. Well it does - but hardly anyone knows it. more...

It's all the fault of my Inner Chimp
22 August 14

How motivational speakers make use of pseudo-neuroscience more...

Trams, taxes and cliff edges
3 July 14

The new Edinburgh tram has a strange connection to stamp duty more...

Fronted Adverbials and other Pointless Jargon
10 May 14

This morning I discovered some new jargon. And I'm annoyed. more...

27 April 14

Before playing Chelsea, Liverpool won 11 League games on the trot. They had momentum. But what does that mean? more...

How to Teach Maths
4 February 14

If exams didn't exist how would I teach maths? And what maths would I teach? more...

What's the maths difference between boys and girls?
24 January 14

Segregating boys and girls for a lesson had some interesting results. more...

England could have won 5-0
6 January 14

The post mortems into England's 5-0 thrashing have begun. Yet it could have been very different. more...

When the Birthday Coincidence Goes Wrong
29 November 13

The birthday coincidence is a lovely way to demonstrate how probability can be surprising. Except when it goes wrong. more...

Three Sevenths
18 November 13

Primary school children deserve the chance to discover how to turn fractions into decimals more...

The Irksome Tuesday Boy Problem
3 November 13

The answer to this 'classic' puzzle depends entirely on the motives of the person who poses it. more...

Recent Tweets

I love it when my work takes me to World Heritage Sites. Tomorrow: Bradford! (More precisely, Saltaire )

4 days ago

Busy week ahead: 4 maths/magic shows for primary children 3 parent sessions + a maths Inset for all non-maths teachers at a secondary school

4 days ago

And for completeness here's my old blog about the perils of Monty Hall and how I make money from mathematicians

9 days ago

If Monty Hall has somehow escaped you, here it is nicely explained on @numberphile - but see my previous tweet...

9 days ago

That Monty Hall puzzle? It's based on a myth, seems Monty never gave contestants a chance to switch eg from 18:00

9 days ago