Everyday Maths



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?

Two Significant Figures 7 February 17

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

How Fibonacci can help on your holiday to France 1 August 16

To convert miles to kilometres, don't worry about fiddly conversions, just memorise Fibonacci.

The Maths of Red Noses 6 March 15

There are nine noses to collect for the full Comic Relief set. But how many do you have to buy before you've got the lot?

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.

Trams, taxes and cliff edges 3 July 14

The new Edinburgh tram has a strange connection to stamp duty

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.

The Big Bass Jackpot 1 September 13

An arcade experience that made me realise the appeal of gambling

The Mobius Loop Rollercoaster 3 June 13

Blackpool's Grand National rollercoaster is described as a Mobius Loop, yet you never go upside down. How?

King Richard III 10 May 13

Fifteen 'descendants' of Richard III want a say in where he is buried. What about the rest of us?

How much does it cost to cross the road? 15 March 13

Innocently pressing the button at a pedestrian crossing brings several cars to a halt. What's it cost in wasted petrol?

The Lincoln Index 25 February 13

The Lincoln Index is nothing to do with predicting Oscar winners, but is in fact a neat way of estimating how mistakes there are in a book after proof-reading it.

Introducing…ZEQUALS 18 February 13

The government wants ten year old children to be able to do long division calculations such as 8384 / 27. That might take a less able ten year old almost half a lesson to work out. Much better to have a way of coming up with a good estimate of the right answer – which is where Zequals comes in.

"JURASSIC PARK AND FRACTALS" 6 February 13

Last week, Brady Haran brought his camera to my house and filmed three items for his Youtube channel Numberphile. The first of these went up on Youtube this week.