Category Archives: Uncategorized

Quieter times

Things have been a little quieter for the last couple of weeks. Tomorrow, off to Portugal for a week and a half, then the Czech Republic for a week, then a couple of weeks to catch my breath before New … Continue reading

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Metrics

HEFCE had a consultation on metrics. I found out about it too late to send in a submission. But you may want to read what two people whose opinions I respect, David Colquhoun and David Spiegelhalter, have to say.

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A five-finger exercise

This morning at the Godsil 65 conference, Cheryl Praeger was wearing a T-shirt she was a bit ashamed of. It had been produced by the Australian Mathematics Trust to commemorate Niels Abel’s anniversary, and featured a quintic equation (he was … Continue reading

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Almost highly transitive

I want to discuss a concept I have known about for quite a long time, but never found any real use for. Suggestions welcome! Highly transitive groups A permutation group is n-transitive if it has a single orbit on the … Continue reading

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Advanced combinatorics

Dear Michael, Amy, Wilf, Caitlin, Christian, Robert, Edward and Michael, Thank you for the card and the very pleasant surprise I found when I got back to London from Hay-on-Wye! I should thank you individually, but I am off to … Continue reading

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The economic crisis

After all these years, I am still curious about what caused the financial crisis that enveloped the world seven years ago. Procol Harum were in no doubt. Their 2003 album The Well’s On Fire, several years before the crunch, included … Continue reading

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Busy times, 1

No time to do much more than a brief running commentary of what I am doing, just for my own sanity. Pardon the self-indulgence! The Mathematical Structures exam was on Wednesday afternoon. It was in a new venue to me, … Continue reading

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Norwegian Wood

The ancient summer festival of Beltane occurred at the beginning of May; and St George’s Day was on 4 May until calendar reform moved it to its present date. So it seems an appropriate time to raise the question: Was … Continue reading

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A small calculation

Yesterday, a competitor in the London marathon collapsed and died. The event warranted a headline on the BBC news. The article pointed out that someone collapsed and died two years ago. Now, of course, running a marathon puts a huge … Continue reading

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A letter to the Guardian

Don Braben is one of my heroes. He has a clear-headed but deeply-held belief, with which I agree, that the bureaucracy of modern science gets in the way of getting good science done, at a time when the world needs … Continue reading

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