Chalkdust is a magazine for the mathematically curious we started at University College London in early 2015. The aim was to provide a space for people to write about the maths that fascinated them and spread the joy they found in their subject; while trying to dispel the stereotypes that shroud mathematics and mathematicians.
Thanks to those who came after us, the magazine has become rather well known within the mathematical community and has run numerous events to promote awareness of the importance of mathematics among the general public.
My articles for the magazine are linked below, vaguely by category.
Florence Nightingale, statistician, March 2017
Florence Nightingale is known as the ‘lady with the lamp’ and loved as a nurse in the popular consciousness. She was, however, more a statistician than a nurse and made important contributions to the field of statistics, for which she should be better known.
John Forbes Nash: the legacy, October 2015
A description of the life and work of John Nash, focusing especially on Nash equilibrium.
A Fields medal at UCL: Klaus Roth, March 2015
A brief description of the work of Klaus Roth, who won a Fields medal in 1958 for his study of diophantine approximations. Klaus Roth sadly died shortly after we published this article.
Hooke’s Monument, October 2016
Monument, now hidden and dwarfed by enormous skyscrapers, is a London landmark commemorating the famous 1666 fire. What is less well known is that it was designed as a telescope.
Maths for money: the Longitude prize, June 2015
A history of the precursor to the modern Longitude prize, set by the UK government in 1714 and leading to the invention of the pocket watch.
The mathematics of human migration, July 2017, with Rafael Prieto Curiel and Nikoleta Kalaydzhieva
A description of various models used to model migration, along with a hands-on demonstration.
The statistics of a squeaky bum, May 2015
A statistical analysis of whether a team’s form or final position has an impact on its chances of gaining promotion in the English Football League’s end of season play-offs, in answer to the commentator’s oft-heard platitude that “they’re a team in great form”.
Should you buy a Valentines day present?, February 2017, with Rudolf Kohulák, Rafael Prieto Curiel and Alex Doak
Applying a little bit of game theory to find out whether you should buy a present for your significant other on Valentines day.