As part of the launch of a series of books called "Everything is Mathematical" I've teamed up with the Times to set a couple of maths problems inspired by real world situations.
The problem and the solution to my first teaser, about polytunnels, can be found here.
As part of the role I came up with the questions set to Dara and the Guest comedian's on the show.
I also help devise the Homework questions and was in charge of the development of the Quiz of Hard Sums.
Come and have a go if you think you're smart enough!
I was also in charge of setting the problems for the advertising campaign which appeared on the radio, on billboards and in the national press.
The show has just been commissioned for another series. We have finished filming and are currently in post-production.
I am again in charge of the national avertising campaign for the show.
Bang goes the theory
I recently appeared on the BBC's flagship science programme Bang Goes the Theory with Dr Yan Wong discussing properties of a special set of curves called the conic sections.
These curves are the shapes made by the rim of a cone when you cut it (see figure below). They have all sorts of practical applications, but I'll let you watch the video to find out.
The conic sections, curves in green, are the curves you get when you slice through a cone. They are called (1) the parabola, (2) the ellipse (of which a circle is a special case) and (3) the hyperbola.
Marcus' Marvellous Mathemagicians
I work with the Oxford University Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science, Marcus Du Sautoy as part of his 'Mathemagicians' group (M3). We run workshops, activities and give talks about maths to a wide range of audiences.
As part of this group I have had the opportunity to give several high-profile popular maths talks:
Each March the Natural History Museum in Oxford run a science event. Scientist from all walks of life come together to man stalls each illustrating a different area of scientific enquiry. These areas range from demonstrations of the extreme cold properties of liquid nitrogen to extracting DNA from strawberries.
This year I organised and ran the "Bernouilli effect" stall. We demonstrated Bernoulli's principle, that faster moving air has a lower pressure. This has some important results; from keeping planes in the air (air moves faster over the top of the wing and slower underneath creating a "lift force") to causing a free-kick to curve (the spin of the ball effects the air flow around the ball and causes a lower pressure on one side than the other which makes it move). We found a really simple demonstration of this using a household drinking straw and a polystyrene ball (see the picture below).
The air moves faster in the middle of the flow and slower the further away from the centre of the straw you go meaning that the pressure is higher away from the centre of the flow. Everytime the ball tries to move away from the centre of the flow is gets pushed back by the higher pressure. Have a go yourself at home!
From April 2010-January 2011 I was a sub-editor on the Oxford University science magazine, Bang! I edit several articles for each issue and write a few as well.