Complete Collection for Parents


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

The Lazy Student Formula
5 June 18

If you haven't got the time or inclination to revise all the topics on your course. more...

Tony Greig and Edvard Grieg

Tony Greig and Edvard Grieg
21 May 18

What's the connection between the former cricketer Tony Greig and the Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg? more...

Inching towards a metric world

Inching towards a metric world
16 April 18

Most of the English-speaking world adopted metric measurements decades ago. Yet imperial language lives on. more...

The Alfred Hitchcock Lesson

The Alfred Hitchcock Lesson
16 March 18

When schools have a special themed day, it's often a bit worthy or dull. But here's the story of how a school added mystery and suspense to the classroom. more...

Ruby Redfort's Spy Mystery
24 February 18

In the spirit of Inspector Morse, an Oxford don solved the mystery of a seemingly flawed puzzle. more...

From Aardvark to Zebra
10 February 18

A variant on a classic H.E.Dudeney puzzle more...

How To Lie With Statistics
22 January 18

Edexcel recently boasted 99.2% accuracy in their exam grading. Sounds impressive. But it isn't. more...

Who have more sisters: boys or girls?
18 January 18

If you are spending time with siblings this Christmas, ponder this question: on average who have more sisters, boys or girls? more...

Predicted Grades
3 January 18

How a history teacher may have messed up a promising maths student's future more...

Underground numbers
12 December 17

These days children are taught addition using a horizontal number line. A vertical line would be better. more...

A one-in-17 million chance. Or was it?
16 November 17

In October 2017 two women golfers got a hole-in-one at the same hole. What were the chances? more...

A bit of magic in Chester
9 November 17

This week I experienced a delightful act of generosity from a stranger. more...

The Chicken Pie Problem
6 November 17

GCSE examiners have been told to include tougher problems in exams. But the result is often problems that bear little relation to real life problem solving. more...

What's the difference between a puzzle and a maths question?
24 September 17

For most people, puzzles and maths questions provoke very different reactions. But what is the difference? more...

The Decline of the Draw
17 August 17

One of cricket's most charming - or to Americans, baffling - features is that after five days play the match can end in a draw. But draws are becoming an endangered species. more...

From Kilo to Bronto
11 August 17

When I was a child, Big Data was measured in Kilos. Now they're arguing about what to call numbers that are an octillion times bigger. more...

Taking The Last Chocolate Biscuit

Taking The Last Chocolate Biscuit
3 July 17

There's one chocolate biscuit left on the plate and there are other guests who might want it. How guilty should you feel about taking it? more...

Why UEFA is turning to ABBA
10 May 17

Penalty shootouts tend to favour the team that kicks first - so UEFA are testing out a new approach to make it fairer. more...

I was sharing the joy of maths...
7 May 17

We all make mistakes in maths. And that's fine, really it is. But there are some mistakes I could do without. more...

Need some good consultants? Call in the Children
27 March 17

In a world infested with jargon and corporate-speak, children are the best remedy. more...

If ABC goes to ABD....
16 March 17

Where do Ideas come from? This puzzle gives a clue. more...

Maths, Teamwork and Googlies
23 March 17

My Zeeman lecture at the Royal Society connected maths and cricket. more...

Sleeping Beauty
12 February 17

A puzzle much debated by probabilists has recently resurfaced. more...

Two Significant Figures
7 February 17

Most seventeen year olds have very limited mental maths skills. Should we care? more...

Venus is brilliant
23 January 17

Until this month I knew almost nothing about our closest planet. more...

Recent Tweets

Presenting puzzles on radio is a craft. The masters of this were Tom and Ray, the presenters on NPR's late lamente…

1 day ago

RT @d_spiegel: delighted to be working with ONS on adding uncertainty to their text and charts of migration trends - what do you think of t…

2 days ago

If Count von Count keeps tweeting at his current rate of two or three a day, then I reckon that about one hundred q…

7 days ago

Feeling very deflated, but impressed that England are showing great dignity in defeat.

8 days ago

How fantastic is this. Now come on, let's have a goal from Sterling to silence his critics.

8 days ago

Follow Rob on Twitter