What is a Googly?

My Mr-Barton-Maths podcast

Some thoughts on maths, puzzles, parenting and cricket.


Craig Barton is famous for his book How I wish I'd taught maths, and also for his podcast in which he interviews people in the maths community.  I had the pleasure of being his interviewee in this month's  episode.

If you haven't got time to listen to the whole thing (and I realise that not everyone has two hours-worth of ironing to do), I've picked out the timings of the main topics we discussed.

00:04:10  Craig's intro to the episode

00:08:00  My favourite number; favourite topic in maths; What If I weren't doing maths?

00:15:00  'How did I get to be doing what I do now?'

       00:15:10  My first Sunday Times Puzzle

       00:17:30  How the world cricket rankings came about

       00:20:40  Teaching civil servants how to think creatively

       00:21:50  My first book, What Is A Googly?

       00:23:40  Why Do Buses Come In Threes?

       00:26:55  Duckworth Lewis 

00:28:20  'Favourite' failures and what I learned

00:34:10  Maths, Cricket and why people find them 'boring', 'pointless' and 'inaccessible'

00:40:40  Is Maths getting cooler?

00:47:30  What's the secret of engaging a class in maths?

        00:56:40  The importance of humour

1:08:00  How do I go about writing books?

        01:12:45  Why I love 'The Number Devil'

01:14:30   How parents can engage children in maths

       01:16:45  Hand puppets

01:21:30  Favourite examples from my books

       01:21:50  Why Do Buses Come In Threes?

       01:25:40  How Many Socks Make A Pair?

01:27:20  Maths On TheBack of an Envelope 

       01:30:20  Why we shouldn't be too dependent on calculators

       01:42:30  Being able to double and halve in your head (imperial and metric)

       01:50:20  Everyday Estimation - The Legoland queue time story

       01:53:20  Fermi questions, How Many Likes?

01:58:25  Maths Inspiration Shows

02:02:30  Puzzles

        02:05:10  'Where is the Father?' puzzle

02:06:45  What I've learned

        02:07:00  Is it better to know How or Why first?

        02:10:30 The importance of feedback 

02:12:50  Three blogs/podcasts that I would recommend

02:18:45  End / Craig's reflections