Monthly Archives: March 2012

A brief hiatus and some more holiday reading

DoF will be on hiatus for a couple of weeks while the editorial team enjoy their two-week break from teaching. Updates will resume on Monday 16 April. In the mean time, here’s another little budget of maths-related articles and oddities … Continue reading

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A fallacy with phones

Here’s a modern version of a problem I first encountered in one of Martin Gardner’s engrossing little books…

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Who wants to do a doctorate?

For those of you who are thinking — vaguely or seriously — about postgraduate study, here are some thoughts from a recent and from a less recent PhD student…

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The other Edinburgh Festival

If you’re looking for entertainment during the spring break and don’t mind a quick trip down the M8, it might be worth checking out the programme for the Edinburgh International Science Festival, which runs from 30 March to 15 April.

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Quotation for the week: Descartes

What I found liberating about university mathematics, after years of the school variety, was that suddenly it became less important to memorise (for example) hundreds of trig formulae than to understand how to derive them. It’s nice to know that … Continue reading

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Alexandre Grothendieck: a visitation

The letter “G” abounds in great mathematicians: Gauss, Galois and Gödel being only the standard-bearers; we also have Germain, Grassmann, Green and Gromov, all worthy of an entry in the abecedary. I, however have chosen to write about Grothendieck, which … Continue reading

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Quotation for the week: Russell

Bertrand Russell (1872–1970), logician, anti-war campaigner and the only mathematician so far to have been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, was rather fond of expressing himself paradoxically. Here’s one of his more famous statements. Mathematics may be defined as … Continue reading

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