I have organised this contents table by category. Within each category, the most recent is first, except in the case of a sequence, where the logical order is used.
This “contents of contents” might help you find your way around.
- Mathematics
- Results and problems
- Expositions: The symmetric group, The ADE affair, Mathematics and logic, Probability, Around the random graph, Derangements, Team games, Latin squares and Youden designs, Coding theory, Coherent configurations and association schemes, Cryptography, Fibonacci numbers, homogeneous Cayley objects, Definitions, Regular polytopes, Computational group theory, Others
- Events, talks and conferences
- Books
- Software
- Mathematicians
- Doing mathematics
- About mathematics
- Mathematics and poetry
- Mathematics and art
- The London Mathematical Society
- Mathematics in the media: The BBC “Horizon” programme, Books, Others
- Teaching
- Academic life
- Miscellany
Mathematics
Results and problems
- Pseudofields, quasifields, near-domains: how do they relate?
- 9, 21, 27, 45, 81, 153, …: how does the sequence continue?
- Butterflies: a counterexample to a conjecture on synchronization
- A symmetric design constructed
- A cliff where the combinatorial explosion sets in at n=7
- Groups, lattices and bases: an unpublished paper from 2002
- Easy to state, hard to solve?: a problem mixing switching and graph homomorphisms
- Primitive switching classes: another finite list worked out by Pablo Spiga and me
- Automorphism groups of hypergraphs: all such primitive groups determined
- Almost highly transitive groups of measure-preserving transformations
- Categorification, step 1: from numbers to vector spaces
- A small problem on infinite products
- Futoshiki squares: some results and questions
- Steiner systems exist, 2: examples over finite fields that I had forgotten about
- Steiner systems: what are the big open problems now?
- Subsets and partitions, packing and covering for the transversal relation
- Steiner systems exist: a preprint by Peter Keevash
- Poly-Bernoulli numbers: an unexpected connection
- A Cayley graph challenge: Is Covington’s graph a Cayley graph?
- Eigen-species: an old idea revisited
- The sound of problems falling: two of mine have been solved
- A Shrikhande challenge: cover each edge of K_{16} twice with five copies of the Shrikhande graph
- Limits: How to reconcile several different approaches?
- Symmetry versus regularity: Laci Babai’s thoughts on a paradox, and a related problem
- A problem and a bet on permutation patterns
- Endomorphism monoids of graphs: an example
- Random synchronization: Mikhail Berlikov proved my conjecture
- A thrifty algorithm for minimal degree of a permutation group
- Finding derangements without CFSG: Vikraman Arvind has done it
- Primitive graphs: what is special about them?
- A permutation group challenge and another: do these without using CFSG! – and nearly the solution
- Homomorphisms modulo a prime: an elegant proof of a surprising result
- A prime problem: Does Euclid always find the prime 3, and how long does it take?
- A problem on Diophantine approximation connected to homogeneous Cayley objects
- Synchronizing coherent configurations: combining two of my favourite topics
- Digital filters and bridge rankings: help wanted
- A visit to Lisbon: new results and problems on synchronization
- Precursors: old results in a new context
- The probability of conjugacy: a talk by John Britnell
- Making easy things hard: a page or so when one line would have done
- Automorphisms of groups: does every group of order greater than 2 have a non-trivial automorphism?
- Remoteness: a new metric parameter for sets or groups of permutations
- Permutation groups and regular semigroups: a Lisbon connection
- Permutation groups and regular semigroups, 2: two problems from the paper
- Combinatorial representations: matroid representations and orthogonal Latin squares generalised
- 2-3-5-7-11: small primes are special
- The arXiv: my first submission, on synchronizing monoids
- A matrix problem, hot and cold
- Measuring triangle-free graphs: Petrov and Vershik found a way
- Transitivity and synchronization: an analogy
- Kirkman’s schoolgirls and their friends: a hard problem
- Graph limits and random graphs: does the Lovász–Szegedy technology help with an old problem of mine?
- Bases: a more complicated theorem has a simpler proof
- Combinatorial Yang-Baxter: finding permutation groups anywhere!
- Perfectness of commuting graphs: an unwieldy criterion
- The power graph revisited: is the chromatic number of a power graph at most countable?
- Geomagic squares and generalisations: magic squares meets group actions
- Commuting graph: does the number of vertices determine the order of the group?
- 100 problems on my webpage
- A little theorem about groups, proved using permutation groups
- Infinite hulls: a couple of problems (one solved by Nick Gravin)
- A deranging puzzle: find a derangement in a transitive permutation group
- A sum-free set problem: periodicity
- Another sum-free set problem: density
- Isbell’s conjecture: one of my favourite open problems
- Counting: some counting problems
- Graphs and groups: a nice little result on the power graph of a group
- A couple of problems: orderings of vector spaces for which monotone maps between subspaces are linear
- Seen this before? The numbers of endomorphisms and of isomorphisms between substructures are equal for vector spaces and abelian groups
Expositions
The symmetric group
- The symmetric group, 1: numbers are conjugacy classes of subgroups of the symmetric group(?)
- The symmetric group, 2: maximum symmetry, no structure
- The symmetric group, 3: outer automorphisms
- The symmetric group, 4: is it the prototypical group?
- The symmetric group, 5: some combinatorics
- The symmetric group, 6: campanology
- The symmetric group, 7: some measures of groups
- The symmetric group, 8: short elements
- The symmetric group, 9: metrics
- The symmetric group, 10: its role in some classic theorems
- The symmetric group, 11: Dixon’s theorem and variations
- The symmetric group, 12: The O’Nan–Scott Theorem and some consequences
- The symmetric group, 13: the Brauer monoid and the partition monoid
- On the symmetric group: “Previous” and “Next” buttons for navigation through these posts
- The Symmetric Group: Representations and Combinatorics : a meeting at Royal Holloway on 29 March
The ADE affair
- The ADE affair, 1: in n dimensions
- The ADE affair, 2: polyhedra in 3 dimensions
- The ADE affair, 3: clusters
- The ADE affair, 4: in optimal design theory, these letters mean something different
- The ADE affair, 5: the BFG affair
Mathematics and logic
- Mathematics and logic: What is logic, and what did Gödel prove?
- Mathematics and logic, 2: compactness, Löwenheim–Skolem, and more
Probability
- Monkeys and typewriters suggest infinity
- Where does randomness come from?: our ignorance, or deep physical principles?
- Does randomness exist? Barbara Jolie speculates
- Is my theory true? A frequentist statistician can’t tell me
- Conditional probability: the boy born on Tuesday revisited
- A fair coin: what could you do if you had one?
- Probability: the “boy born on Tuesday” paradox
Around the random graph
- Almost all: an introduction to measure and category
- The random graph, 1: it exists, and it’s universal and homogeneous
- The random graph, 2: explicit constructions
- The random graph, 3: automorphisms, robustness, decompositions
- The pigeonhole property: satisfied by the random graph; what else?
- Graph limits and random graphs: does the Lovász–Szegedy technology help with an old problem of mine?
- Regeneration: Synergy between a talk by Sasha Gnedin and results on random relational structures
- The random graph, 4: an updated survey
Derangements
- A deranging puzzle: find a derangement in a transitive permutation group
- On a theorem of Jordan and a recent application by Mark Wildon
- Derangements 1: an introduction
- Derangements 2: a puzzle about convergence
Team games
- Team games, 1: Hadamard matrices applied to the case n = 2k
- Team games, 2: Wilson’s Theorem on PBDs applied to the case k = 2
- Team games, 3: Conference matrices applied to the case n = 2k+1
Latin squares and Youden designs
- Combinatorial representations: matroid representations and orthogonal Latin squares generalised
- Diamond squares: the geezer sets a challenge
- A card trick, 1: a puzzle designed by Donald Preece
- A card trick, 2: The principles behind this design
- A card trick, 3: a challenge
- A card trick, 4: the solution
- Orthogonal Latin squares: an introduction
Coding theory
- Catching a liar using the Hamming code of length 7
- Catching a liar, 2: connections with Nim and weighing pennies
Coherent configurations and association schemes
- Coherent configurations and all that, 1: coherent configurations and their uses
Cryptography
- Bluebells, 1: Where is the secret wood?
- Bluebells, 2: the one-time pad, and reconstructing the substitution table
Fibonacci numbers
- Fibonacci numbers, 1: rabbits, strings, compositions and bijections
- Fibonacci numbers, 2: a remarkable table
- Fibonacci numbers, 3: several approaches to the formula
- Fibonacci numbers, 4: continued fractions
- Fibonacci numbers, 5: a Diophantine representation
- Fibonacci numbers, 6: phyllotaxis and “bouncing numbers”
- Fibonacci numbers, 7: what was Fibonacci’s convention?
- Fibonacci numbers, 8: Fibonacci factorials and binomial coefficients
Homogeneous Cayley objects
- Homogeneous Cayley objects, 1: introduction
- Homogeneous Cayley objects, 2: the random graph
- Homogeneous Cayley objects, 3: Henson’s graphs
- Homogeneous Cayley objects, 4: orders and multiorders
Definitions
- The definition of a graph is now top secret
- The definition of a graph, 2: many definitions, none of them secret
- The definition of a group: an independence algebra of rank 1 “is” a group acting on a set
- Definitions: some general thoughts
- Definitions, 2: Mathematicians’ Liberation?
- The definition of a matroid: three unusual definitions
Regular polytopes
- Regular polytopes, 1: string C-groups
- Regular polytopes, 2: CPR-graphs
- Regular polytopes, 3: new results
Computational group theory
- Computational group theory, 1: the black art of black box groups
- Computational group theory, 2: names for groups
Others
- Picture of an isomorphism between SET and Sudoku
- Terminology: Association scheme or coherent configuration? a reasoned view
- Notes on moonshine, based on lectures by V. Nikulin
- Entropy and groups: does the value of a mathematical fact depend on the area you view it from?
- Primitive lambda-roots: notes by Donald Preece and me
- Combinatorial Yang-Baxter, 2: I just noticed that the Yang-Baxter equation is a “2-dimensional associative law”
- Magic square and Oxo cube: a talk by Rob Wilson
- Notes on finite groups available
- Carries, shuffles, and cocycles: thoughts on a lecture by Persi Diaconis
- E_{7.5}: yes, there is such a Lie algebra (not simple, though)
- Addressing and decomposing: a nice piece of work by Graham and Pollak
- Resistance and collaboration: should we use resistance for collaboration distance?
- Self-reference: two puzzles from Chris Maslanka
- Primitivity: seven equivalent definitions
- The commuting graph, 2: it can (unexpectedly) have unbounded diameter
- The Graph Extension Theorem and some examples
- Finite simple groups: could there be another?
- Everything and nothing, or the empty set and the set of all sets
- Entropy, partitions and groups: an unexpected connection
- Depth-first search used by Krivelevich and Sudakov to give a simple proof of the “giant component threshold” for random graphs
- A visit to Lisbon: new results and a problem on synchronization
- Counting colourings of graphs: beyond the chromatic polynomial
- Multiply transitive permutation sets: a construction by Eiichi Bannai
- Monty Hall revisited: according to Sasha Gnedin, it is a question of game theory, not probability
- Rounding errors: Pythagoras, Euclid, continued fractions, and modern calculators
- The prehistory of the Higman-Sims graph: Dale Mesner found it first
- Integral Apollonian circle packings: lecture notes by Peter Sarnak
- Conway’s Nim field explained by the Master
- Algebraic statistics: an introduction
- The Aitken lectures on matroid representation
- Conference matrices: notes of a talk
- Ticking boxes to solve a linear algebra question
- The commutative law and how to prove it
- Semigroups, quasigroups: bridges between Lisbon and Prague
- The field with one element doesn’t exist, but let’s pretend it does
- Groups with unique involution: or, in praise of cohomology
- Super tankers, injunctions and games
- After the Gold Rush: topology and living in the present
- Independence algebras : matroids with symmetry
- Old codgers and ibises and some results and questions about families of sets
- E=mc^{2}: thoughts on Einstein’s famous formula
- The Shrikhande graph and its connection to the Euler spoilers
- Joyal’s proof of Cayley’s Theorem and an application
- Group theory: undergraduate group theory in less than 30 pages
- Large numbers: can we find explicit bounds?
- Equivalence relations: the new pons asinorum?
Events, talks and conferences
- 10th birthday of MSG, a talk on Hadamard matrices
- Queen Mary MathSoc: a talk and a T-shirt
- The Infinite Quest: my lecture at Hay-on-Wye is now an online courses from the IAI Academy
- A celebration of diversity in mathematics at the University of Auckland
- Computational algebra in Lisbon: a very interesting workshop
- A trip to Coimbra: mathematics, fado, and sightseeing
- Pedro Nunes: an account, and an award with his name
- Busy times, 10: in Waterloo for Chris Godsil’s 65th birthday
- Busy times 9: Beyond the limit in St Petersburg: a conference for Anatoly Vershik
- Busy times 8: Algebraic graph theory at Villanova and a bit of time in Pennsylvania
- Busy times, 7: How the light gets in: mud and paradox in Hay-on-Wye
- Busy times, 6: Leuven for the Flemish Mathematical Olympiad prizegiving
- How the light gets in, 2014: more philosophy and music, and me holding forth on infinity and paradox
- Real v recreational mathematics: is there a dividing line?
- 66th British Mathematical Colloquium breaks the record and gets off to a good start
- BMC 2014 at Queen Mary: a great conference coming up
- Graphs and probability in Eindhoven: some snippets
- Combinatorial physics: new subject, or statistical mechanics dressed up?
- A visit to Oxford to address the Invariants
- The London Algebra Colloquium goes to City University
- Graph Theory and Interactions in Durham
- Combinatorics, Algebra and More: conference report
- Conference walks, 3: a report
- Will computers discover topology? Geoff Whittle’s thoughts
- Postgraduate Combinatorics Conference: hurry, registration closing soon!
- Zeilberger on induction from his BCC talk
- Conference walks, 2: an update
- Algebra in Novi Sad: a feast of mathematics
- How some light got in: a day in Hay-on-Wye
- Intersecting spheres: a blogger gives a talk
- London Combinatorics Colloquia, 2: the 2013 meetings
- Conference walks: join us in July
- Finite geometry and probabilistic combinatorics: a talk by Jeroen Schillewaerts
- How the light gets in: a festival of philosophy and music
- Two more lectures, by the 2013 Crighton medallists
- South-Eastern: my first time at this conference
- Two lectures at the London Mathematical Society
- Conferences in July: three big ones, one you really shouldn’t miss!
- Cambridge, 2: a short visit
- A talk in a Lisbon school
- Combinatorics, algebra and more: a conference not to be missed!
- An invitation to a walk and the walkers
- Another date for your diary: 20 February 2013, Queen Mary Algorithms Day
- Francis Buekenhout is 75: a small meeting to celebrate
- A date for your diary: 8-10 July 2013, my retirement conference
- Homogeneous structures in Prague: from extreme amenability to the Olympic Games
- Information flows and information bottlenecks: a workshop on network coding
- Happy birthday, Isaac Newton Institute: twenty years old
- LTCC intensive course this week: last-minute invitation!
- Laplacian eigenvalues and optimality: an LTCC intensive course
- London Combinatorics Colloquiua: the 2012 events
- Gresham College: a lecture in London’s oldest HEI
- Size: measuring everything from categories to ecosystems
- A research visit to Monash University, and what we did
- 35ACCMCC at Monash: loops, Gray codes, and a few birds
- KolKom in Magdeburg: an autumnal treat
- British Mathematical Colloquium: suggestions wanted
- Galois on his 200th birthday
- The Aitken lectures on matroid representation
- London Algebra Colloquium has records of 61 years
- Rothamsted: a visit
- Cambridge: A spell at the Isaac Newton Institute
- Semigroups, quasigroups: bridges between Lisbon and Prague
- Measuring triangle-free graphs: Petrov and Vershik found a way
- The field with one element doesn’t exist, but let’s pretend it does
- Finite geometries at Kloster Irsee: a very nice conference in a beautiful place
- The Royal Institution: a Friday Evening Discourse
- Graph limits and random graphs: does the Lovász–Szegedy technology help with an old problem of mine?
- Postgraduate Research Day: a celebration
- Pretty structures: mathematics in Paris
- Odds and ends: Young researchers, and the NSS
- Andries Brouwer is (nearly) 60: a celebration and some memories
- Old codgers and ibises and some results and questions about families of sets
- Synchronization, and sad news: the course is over, and Dima Fon-Der-Flaass has died
- Synchronization: commercial for course in June 2010
- A birthday party: Laszlo Babai is 60
- Open University Winter Combinatorics Meeting: an annual event to brighten January
- The Copson lecture: a trip to St Andrews to talk about Sudoku
Books
- Exploring University Mathematics, 1: how it was done in 1965
- Solutions to the exercises in DGCL
- Combinatorics Ancient and Modern: a new book
- Creating Modern Probability, by John von Plato
- Circles disturbed: a book review
- Two lives: biographies of Richard Feynman and Simon Norton
- A literary-mathematical puzzle: Did Stanislaw Lem anticipate Furstenberg’s proof of Szemerédi’s theorem?
- Formal Logic: a lost civilisation
- Mediaeval mathematics: a new book by James Hannam is short on detail
- Under the microscope: Sasha Borovik’s book on cognitive aspects of mathematics
- Combinatorics for the working mathematician: thoughts about a possible book with this title
Software
- Flagmatic: Emil Vaughan’s program for Turán densities
Mathematicians
- Dima Fon-Der-Flaass: remembering his mathematics, solving his problems?
- Abelian groups: what’s abelian about them?
- Dan Hughes, to whom I owe much
- Andrzej Orchel, my first PhD examinee
- A milestone: 150 co-authors
- Endre Szemerédi won this year’s Abel Prize
- Boris Weisfeiler: a new development in an extraordinary story
- John Nelder, the person who almost discovered Sudoku, has died
- Paul Erdős: My encounters with mathematics’ greatest collaborator
Doing mathematics
- Auckland: a research visit
- Tools for mathematicians: finding a formula on the internet
- Preece on doing research on tight single-change covering designs
- Hadamard revisited: how mathematicians think, and much more
- Doing mathematics, as seen by a Big Issue reviewer
- Cultures, tribes, or just an illusion?: is “Hungarian combinatorics” different from “real mathematics”?
- Female mathematicians at the Isaac Newton Institute
- MathOverflow: my first venture there
- Looking back to being a student
- Under the microscope: Sasha Borovik’s book on cognitive aspects of mathematics
- To prove and to conjecture: mathematics in public
- Doing research: what exactly does a mathematician do?
- Collaboration in mathematics: how do mathematicians work together?
About mathematics
- Bayes again: why are people scared of his theorem?
- Fear of mathematics, 2: Ron Sandland weighs in
- Two statisticians revisited: more on Thomas Bayes and Richard Price
- Trigonometry lesson: where does the word “sine” come from?
- Trigonometry lesson, 2: a connection with Wittenham Clumps?
- 50 proofs to read before you die: suggestions wanted
- Diamond squares: the geezer sets a challenge
- How to write mathematics, in the words of Paul Halmos
- Potted mathematicians: ten taster biographies
- Fear of mathematics: it makes everyone’s head hurt, according to Bad Science
- Mathematical holidays: here is a list of fourteen of them
- A tale of two statisticians : Thomas Bayes and Richard Price had much in common
- Mediaeval mathematics: a new book by James Hannam is short on detail
- Under the microscope: Sasha Borovik’s book on cognitive aspects of mathematics
- Forthcoming attraction: a talk by Sasha Borovik
- Synthetic a priori: matroid representability axioms might satisfy Kant’s requirements
- Mathematics and poetry, 2: a millennium poem
- Counting, 2: “renumerating civil servants”
- Symmetric Sudoku: designed by Robert Connelly, realised by David Spiegelhalter
- Ambiguity: is mathematics ambiguous?
- Mathematical genealogy: do students resemble their supervisors?
- Mathematics and poetry: a higgledy-piggledy and a sonnet
- Martin Gardner: tribute to a great expositor, and some of his influence on me
- Loops: where did the name come from?
- Quote unquote: quotes about mathematics and their use
- Research groups: How large a group is most “efficient”?
- Coffee into theorems: Does replacing the tea lady by a machine matter?
- Lewis Carroll and algebra: inspired by Melanie Bayley’s article in New Scientist suggesting that Carroll was satirising modern algebra
- Mathematics and religion? any connection?
- Mathematics and mountain-climbing: there are parallels!
- Mathematicians and statisticians: allies with occasional misunderstandings
Mathematics and poetry
- War: H. G. Forder’s thoughts
- Poe on algebraists: not complementary!
- Note on infinity: John Donne wonders if you can make it bigger by adding something to it
- Some mathematical images in the poetry of Sohrab Sepehri
- Strange Attractors: an anthology of poems on love and mathematics
- Necessity: let’s use “behove” for “is a necessary condition for”
- Lex poems: the best words in lex order
- Seven couplets tell a story
- When I walk into the room: minorities: women in mathematics, or mathematicians in society?
- Poetry and science: John Bonnycastle’s apologia
- Bob Dylan is 70; he has used mathematics in his work
- Notes from Overground: Roger Green, logodaedaly, and siderodromology
- After the Gold Rush: topology and living in the present
- Eliot’s yew: why did the Indian High Commissioner dedicate a yew tree to T. S. Eliot?
- Mathematics and poetry: a higgledy-piggledy and a sonnet
- Mathematics and poetry, 2: a millennium poem
- Ambiguity: is mathematics ambiguous?
- Ambiguity, 2: another attempt to find ambiguity in mathematics
Mathematics and art
- Beautiful stuff: the Geometry Workshop
- Raymond Brownell’s exhibition: an artist uses Latin squares and other things
The London Mathematical Society
- LMS elections go on-line
- LMS website 2: beta version now available
- LMS website: suggestions for redesign
- A well-kept secret: Who is the next Forder lecturer?
- The future of “the future of the LMS”: my attempts to contribute to the discussion
Mathematics in the media
The BBC “Horizon” programme
- Making “Infinity”: the filming of part of the Horizon programme “To Infinity and Beyond” for the BBC
- Infinite horizons: the programme is transmitted
- Infinite reactions: first reactions to the programme
- Infinite reactions, 2: answers to viewers’ questions
- Infinite reactions, 3: sets of sets
- Infinite reactions, 4: the Mathematics Today article and other reactions
- Infinite reactions, 5: the Big Bang, Infinity × Zero, Hilbert’s Hotel, and whether Cantor was wrong
Books
- Alex Bellos in Numberland: comments on the book
Others
- On TV (at the Universidade Aberta) and On TV, 2 (national) in Portugal
- Reprints: no longer free to authors, even if it is your first paper!
- Lewis Carroll and algebra: inspired by Melanie Bayley’s article in New Scientist suggesting that Carroll was satirising modern algebra
Teaching
Mathematical Structures
- Mathematical Structures, 0: preamble to the new course
- Mathematical Structures, 1: what is mathematics?
- Mathematical Structures, 2: sets
- Mathematical Structures, 3: infinity
- Mathematical Structures, 4: functions and relations
- Mathematical Structures, 5: natural numbers and induction
- Mathematical Structures, 6: integers and divisibility
- Mathematical Structures, 6.5: student questionnaires and mid-term test
- Mathematical Structures, 7: real numbers
- Mathematical Structures, 8: complex numbers
- Mathematical Structures, 9: proofs
- Mathematical Structures, 10: constructing and debugging proofs
- Mathematical Structures: Coda: an insight about induction
- Mathematical Structures: the aftermath: the LMS-Gresham lecture and the exam
- Mathematical Structures, reprise: testing times: mid-term test and student questionnaires
The process
- Kids can learn to love the STEM subjects, according to Lauren Bailey
- School mathematics: if it gives answers, what are the questions?
- Exam marking entertainment from the Number Theory scripts
- How not to teach mathematics: something our bosses don’t realise!
- How to teach mathematics: something our students don’t realise?
- Odds and ends: Young researchers, and the NSS
- Student questionnaires: how not to do it
- Student questionnaires, 2: further thoughts
- Generalized logic: an essential tool for maths teachers?
- Teaching and assessing mathematics: some bureaucratic views
- Mathematical education: What for? How best done?
- Excellent teaching? Believe it or not, we have been told to be mediocre
Technological aids
- A use for an iPad: at last it proves its worth
- Adventures of an iPad newbie – and not a happy one
- Gleanings from recent blog posts
- Beamer handouts made easy
- Blackboards, whiteboards, visualizers …: the future of maths teaching??
- Gerard Unger’s book: a beautiful book on typography
- Mathematical typography: help wanted: are sans serif fonts better for dyslexic students?
Others
- Combinatorics in Scotland, group theory in Portugal: two new courses keep me busy
- LTCC course on Enumerative Combinatorics finished
- Lecture notes: moving my collection to WordPress
- Irish interlude: problems and initiatives in education in Ireland
- Centre for Discrete Mathematics at Queen Mary has a new website
- The De Morgan Journal: have your say on maths education and policy
- Bureaucracy: on-line module choice
Academic life
Judging research, academic politics
Mathematics
- A non-person in the department where I worked for 26 years
- EPSRC and mathematics: a report and a discussion
- Our future in their hands?: unwelcome changes to EPSRC rules for PDFs presage something worse
- Impact factor engineering: the future of research assessment?
- LMS impact consultation: a contribution to the debate
- Interns: why I don’t accept them
- Farewell to astronomy? : our Astronomy Unit may be leaving us for the Physics department
- International Review of Mathematics : the draft report
- Australasian Journal of Combinatorics has a new honorary editor
- More bad news: Bulgarian Academy of Sciences under threat
- The cuts bite: the MSOR network and the Schrödinger Institute to close
- Skills: should young scientists be forced to expand their skill set?
- Landscape document: help wanted in producing a document for the International Review of Mathematics
- Submission and publication of mathematics papers: attempts to restrict our freedom to publish in appropriate places
Open-access publishing
- Full text: publishers open their archives
- Open access and metrics: the Ball committee report: a summary
- More on open access from the EMS Newsletter
- HEFCE and open access: another lemming joins the flock
- The LMS and open access: our learned society sets up an OA journal
- Diamonds in the sky, 2: the Australasian Journal of Combinatorics complies with RCUK open-access requirements
- Epijournals arrive
- In the sky with diamonds; the AJC goes diamond in 2014
- Brief update on publishing: libel laws and author-pays
- Open access publishing: is “author-pays” the right model? I think not
- Open access publishing: response from Laszlo Babai: Laci defends the third way: journals run by volunteers, free to authors and readers
- Open access publishing, 2: further developments
- Open access again: a Government-sponsored report doesn’t give much to cheer about
Wider issues
- Bibliometrics, open access, and all that: mathematics v football
- Hood fellowships: philanthropy in the academy
- A salute to whistleblowers John Allen and Fanis Missirlis from SBCS at Queen Mary
- Metrics: some views
- Altmetrics: the latest bizarre excrescence of the bibliometrics industry
- The function of the university in 1972 was teaching and research
- Note on probability: gender balance in US physics departments
- From the records: professorial review documents tell a story
- Conference prodeedings: RIP BCC contributed papers volume
- World Digital Mathematical Library: a call for bright ideas
- Green shoots: hopeful words from our Vice-Pricipal for Research
- The future of universities: the MOOCs are coming
- The future of universities, 2: and so are the hedge funds
- A portrait of decline: Australian universities exposed by Donald Meyers, and another by Richard Hil
- Council for the Defence of British Universities: think about supporting it
- Efficiency: Nature tells us how to run universities
- SBCS at QMUL: victims of performance management need help
- Publishers’ wars: why are we overcharged for publishing mathematics?
- NSS: shock, horror, they can’t even ask the students a grammatically correct question
- The purpose of a university: slight return: must there be tension between us and them?
- Brave new world: chemistry shows the way
- The purpose of a university has changed recently, in my view
- Impact: a modest revolt: just say no
- REF dry run: a necessary evil?
- Another hard-luck story: funding cut for ASSMS
- Impact again: no movement from RCUK
- Denial and blindspots: is it only climate-change deniers who cannot accept scientific evidence? Arthur Koestler thought not
- Sad news from Middlesex: the philosophy department is axed
- Research groups: How large a group is most “efficient”?
- Citations briefly revisited: what happens elsewhere in science
- Letter to Stevan Harnad: is research assessment by citation inevitable?
- Citations: used to assess our research in the near future
- Impact: a short-sighted way to judge research quality
- Quality in higher education: a word whose meaning has been debased
History
- St Andrews 600: a celebration
- A history of Merton College: from foundation to my own time there
Wider politics
- Education: Michael Rosen has some advice for Michael Gove
- If enough people say it, will they listen?
- Mathematics Today: link to an article by Ken Brown and Paul Glendinning
- Cuts: is it hypocritical for a government, in order to reduce its own debt, to force its citizens much deeper into debt if they want an education?
- STEM and the election: Party leaders’ responses to the CaSE letter
- Libel laws and science: sign the petition
Miscellany
My presence on the web
My webpage
- Cameron at CAUL: my new web page
- The slowest web designer? my redesign of my sister’s website
- 100 problems on my webpage
- 10000 hits on my web page in less than a year
My blog
- Service interrupted by some local difficulties
- 2013 in review: the monkeys strike again
- Advertisements: I don’t endorse them but I won’t pay to get rid of them
- Back issues, 2: fixing some problems with the Twenty Ten style
- 2012 in review: it’s that time of year again
- An interview on MathBlogging.org
- 300 posts
- Off-air tomorrow as part of the anti-SOPA protest
- 2011 in review, thanks to the WordPress monkeys
- Wi-fi on the train shows differences among TOCs
- Second anniversary of the blog
- Notes from Overground: Roger Green, logodaedaly, and siderodromology
- Eco pressed, eco stressed?: have I become an “independent green thinker”?
- 2010 in review, thanks to the WordPress monkeys
- An award : in someone’s top 50
- Anniversary: one year of my blog
- The journey of a picture: post it on the Web, where will it end up?
- “About” expanded: a little more information about the blogger
- Protest: why I am writing this blog to sharpen my quills
Guest authors
- The Traveling Salesman Problem: An Optimization Model explained by Debra Johnson
- Kids can learn to love the STEM subjects, according to Lauren Bailey
- 2011 in review, thanks to the WordPress monkeys
- Does randomness exist? Barbara Jolie speculates
- 2010 in review by the WordPress helper monkeys
- The other side of Australia: the sad story of Peter Spencer by Rob Cameron: a victim of carbon capture
- Open access publishing: response from Laszlo Babai: Laci defends the third way: journals run by volunteers, free to authors and readers
Other
- Counting coauthors: not so simple
- Counting coauthors, 2: adding the arXiv
- London Algebra Colloquium, 3: the records move to WordPress
- London Reconnections: a recommended website
- Mail problems
- APOD: a mirror site while the US government is closed
- A newe blogger in the family: Sheila takes the plunge
- The Cloud: Dropbox, Ubuntu One, et al.
- The arXiv: my first submission, on synchronizing monoids
- Ecology and banking: a talk by Robert May
- Nature on blogging: how to further your career with a blog(??)
- Mo-Bot High: thoughts inspired by Neill’s book
People
- Donald Preece: obituary and bibliography
- Donald Preece, a remarkable man, has died
- Cardano’s lists: a grumpy old man writes his autobiography
- An academic role model: David Colquhoun
- Creativity, according to Neil Gaiman
- An organ recital and a chance to celebrate Donald Preece
- Ray Bradbury: a tribute
- Antoni Tàpies, the Catalan painter, has died
- Bert Jansch has died
- Bob Dylan is 70; he has used mathematics in his work
Typesetting
- Generation, t-designs and other mathematical notation used and abused
- A new look: the default body text on the blog is now a serif font
- Knuth on typesetting: comparing TeX to Ben Franklin’s print shop
- Mathematical typesetting (yet again), with a shaggy dog story as illustration
- Oops: a typesetting (or proofreading) failure in Nature
- Gerard Unger’s book: a beautiful book on typography
- Mathematical typography: help wanted: are sans serif fonts better for dyslexic students?
- Typography: especially for mathematics
Books
- How to make awesome comics: Neill’s new book
- Bertrand Russell’s summing up: the conclusion to History of Western Philosophy
- Christmas books on science denial and numbers
- Horses and the death of God
- Notes from Overground: Roger Green, logodaedaly, and siderodromology
- Mo-Bot High: thoughts inspired by Neill’s book
- Denial and blindspots: is it only climate-change deniers who cannot accept scientific evidence? Arthur Koestler thought not
- Alex Bellos in Numberland: comments on the book
- Gerard Unger’s book: a beautiful book on typography
Maps
- A trip to Hendon for the Harry Beck exhibition
- Mapping the Underground: could a redesign make the Tube map easier to read?
Geography
- Evoa: a bird sanctuary
- Tomar: a visit
- Tiritiri Matangi: visit to a sanctuary
- Scots wha hae but now won’t (for a while)
- Across New Zealand: the Auckland Coast-to-Coast
- A sun dog in St Andrews
- On either side of the LNER line
- Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park: first impressions
- Grim’s Ditch: who built it, and who named it?
- Reconnections 2: underground haikus
- Exploring East London: its monuments and public art and architecture
- St Andrews Botanic Garden: a hidden treasure threatened
- Beechwoods: Richard Mabey’s meditations
- A train journey in Portugal
- Family holiday in Toowoomba and Gympie
- The whipping-boy’s house: a visit to Ham
- Rothamsted: a visit
- Another museum goes: the Museum of Domestic Design and Architecthre at Cat Hill
- Notes from Overground: Roger Green, logodaedaly, and siderodromology
- Immigration: a big issue for British people
- A tale of two statisticians : Thomas Bayes and Richard Price had much in common
- Floods in Queensland: is extreme weather becoming more common?
- Eclipse weather tales: two consecutive eclipses missed because of the weather
- Geographical puzzles: East Ham or Aldgate East? and why so few Easts?
- Numbers Farm and some of its produce
- A puzzle, including some curious typography
- Kerala diary (illustrated!)
- Eliot’s yew: why did the Indian High Commissioner dedicate a yew tree to T. S. Eliot?
- Belfast graffiti: not what I expected
- The limit: I found it in Kerala
- Counting, 2: “renumerating civil servants”
- Notices: a “crash blossom” in west London
- Mapping the Underground: could a redesign make the Tube map easier to read?
- The other side of Australia: the sad story of Peter Spencer by Rob Cameron: a victim of carbon capture
- Mathematics and mountain-climbing: there are parallels!
Walks
- Waitakere ranges: a walk
- Core paths of Fife, now in hard copy
- Thames Down Link: autumnal thoughts
- A small part of the Ulster Way: to Union Locks and back in an afternoon
- Ninja knitters strike again on the Thames Path
- Eye candy: pictures from my walks
- The builder and the church: thoughts on a South London walk
- Bluebells, 1: Where is the secret wood?
- Canvey Island: a Sunday walk
- A London walk from Stepney Green to Bunhill Row
- Gunpowder Park: Bang! Blast! Boom! Benign neglect…
- Hertfordshire revisited: spring comes on apace
- Three Hertfordshire rivers: a spring walk
- From X to Y: silly name, great walk?
From the archive
Things that came to light while clearing my office
- From the archive, 1: a theorem of Alfred Rényi proved using an argument by Titus Hilberdink
- From the archive, 2: notes on doing geometry in CAYLEY
- From the archive, 3: a picture and a graph
- From the archive, 4: three parallel theorems and Jaap Seidel’s handwriting
- From the archive, 5: my first paper with Paul Erdős
- From the archive, 6: 1997 BCC T-shirst
- From the archive, 7: the programme for the 3rd anniversary celebration of the School of Mathematical Sciences at Queen Mary College
- From the archive, 8: my London Marathon diary
Odds and ends
- Comics, literacy and self-help: children and mathematicians compared
- An excursion to Hamilton, Taupo and Napier
- Computers make life difficult sometimes
- From Lisbon to Prague: two eye-catching cities
- Quieter times between conferences
- Spitalfields photos: am amazing collection
- Advanced Combinatorics: thanks to my St Andrews students
- The economic crisis: what really caused it?
- Overload: too much to do, and reports from the front line: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
- Norwegian Wood: echoes of pagan religious practice?
- A small calculation: is running the London marathon dangerous?
- Spring break, the Scottish equivalent of easter vacataion
- Scottish referendum: an important debate hijacked by politicians
- Birthday musings in St Andrews
- Hopkins on the Northern Lights: a poet looks at the sky
- Farewells to Queen Mary
- Books, books: big give-away on 13 December 2013
- Hardy on blogging: what would his attitude have been?
- Augustinian mathematics: an example
- Moving out: things conspire to make me feel unwelcome
- Gilgamesh: a modern story
- The first computer at Queen Mary College: how times have changed!
- Negative interest rates really occur
- A tale for our times: what matters is agreeing on a value, not on getting the right value
- Estimation and accuracy: people (and machines) are bad at these
- Markfield steaming: geometry in action
- From the EMS Newsletter, some interesting and controversial stuff
- Lists: some nice examples, but what is a list? and Lists, 2: partial list of lists on this blog
- KPMG: a mnemonic
- Kilvington’s Sophismata: mediaeval discussion of paradox
- Ubuntu upgrade: welcome precise pangolin
- A month in St Andrews: first days in my new post
- Gregory’s pillar: the first secular meridian line?
- Regius chair at St Andrews: a distinguished opportunity
- Replacing me: step into my shoes!
- A pigeonhole problem: letters or pigeons?
- Scottish history: a bloodthirsty story
- St Andrews: a new chapter starts
- Why don’t mathematicians fill in surveys? Not even mathematics departments can program them correctly
- Two steps from fame: I met a Big Issue seller who played with Gil Scott-Heron
- Araucaria: a great crossword puzzle compiler announces he has cancer, and gives his views on discovery and invention
- The answer: Douglas Adams was right
- Overheard, 2: what is art?
- The Medusa and the Snail: essays in the spirit of Montaigne
- A first: Amazon try to sell me one of my books
- John Lennon: Bob Dylan sings a tribute
- Retirement: from today I am collecting my pension
- The next thing for lectures: fancams and enforced jollity?
- Ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys: awesome comics for girls??
- Favourite numbers: why did Sesame Street’s Count von Count prefer 34969?
- Downtime update: I’m going on holiday; Downtime update 2: I’m back
- Trent Park: some history and an upcoming event
- London 11111011100: a tale of corporate greed and paranoia
- Immigration delays from my viewpoint
- Reseach on cybersecurity: a funding call
- On TV at the Universidade Aberta in Lisbon
- A Lisbon square and a linguistic question
- The creation of the world: mathematicians were on the job!
- Two decisions, forty years apart, about career choices
- Announcement: I am retiring this year
- Makám, my favourite band
- The Monkees: first boy band?
- Astronomical puzzle: why don’t the sun and moon appear as bright rings, dimmer in the centre?
- Information, postmodernism and time signatures: comments on a book on information visualization
- Collaboration between Bob Dylan and Jacques Levy
- Paper: is it more important to tidy one’s office than to do research?
- A question on family sex balance, an answer, and more questions
- Windows are closing down: a tale of viruses and corporate inefficiency
- Overheard: some mathematics?
- Hedge funds: their latest gimmick is legal stealing from us
- The end of politeness: starting an email “Dear …” gives a high positive score for spam
- David Kindersley on education and rioting youth
- Updates: some old stuff retrieved
- The signposts cease to sign, as Procol Harum foresaw
- Dr Johnson in St Andrews, deploring the neglect of universities
- Close encounter with Mr Cameron at Chequers Knap
- Interchanges: two bloggers change places
- Spam: unavoidable?
- If you twitter …, you might enjoy this
- Apparently …: an ambiguous word
- An evening in Spitalfields in some remarkable places
- Tessellating in the rain
- The electron is round: actually, its electric dipole moment is close to zero
- Nostalgia: a weekend of reminders of the 1960s
- Front-page news: briefly, I was!
- Bandwidth: why so-called?
- The human genome: my role in its sequencing
- Immigration: a big issue for British people
- Heard on trains: a few of Sonia’s classics
- Floods in Queensland: is extreme weather becoming more common?
- Eclipse weather tales: two consecutive eclipses missed because of the weather
- Geographical puzzles: East Ham or Aldgate East? and why so few Easts?
- Numbers Farm and some of its produce
- What is mathematics?: a definition from the CBI
- Be a mathematician! It’s fun! … or is it?
- A puzzle, including some curious typography
- Kerala diary (illustrated!)
- Mayoral language needs improving
- From X to Y: silly name, great walk?
- Definition: is logic bad for one’s health?
- Belfast graffiti: not what I expected
- The limit: I found it in Kerala
- Football graphs to describe passing between team members
- Another rant: response to the preceding one
- A rant about industrial accidents
- The symmetric group, 6: campanology
- St George: who was he, and how do we celebrate his day?
- Notices: a “crash blossom” in west London
- Hoax? a Soviet precursor of Alan Sokal
- Who is deluded? a bad time for religious fundamentalists to attack Dawkins
- An early birthday present: a successor to my trusty Psion
- You choose …: is truth relative?
- The other side of Australia: the sad story of Peter Spencer by Rob Cameron: a victim of carbon capture
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