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MathJax hangout on air Q&A

I did a Google+ Hangout on Air Q&A session with MathJax’s Peter Krautzberger and’s Phil Schatz last Friday. We spent about an hour and a half answering questions and talking about the way we use MathJax.

It was a bit awkward, since I couldn’t see who was watching, and it wasn’t very clear how to interact with the audience apart from them submitting questions, but some people seem to have found it worthwhile.

For your entertainment, here’s the recording:

Peter wants to run more of these Q&As in the future. I’ll make sure to attend!

6 pieces involving patterns and functions by Edmund Harriss

eh piece 2Quite a few months ago, I posted on The Aperiodical about my search for art to decorate the university maths department I work at. The upshot of that was that we commissioned six pieces from Edmund Harriss, who has made some very nice things to do with geometry and tilings in the past.

The pieces he delivered were all constructed from layers of cut card laid on top of each other, with the idea that patterns appear as you change your viewing angle. It took a frankly ridiculous amount of time to get the pieces out of UK customs after Edmund shipped them from the US, and then they sat in our building manager’s office for a month or so while the university estates people got their act together.

Anyway, I really like the pieces. Now they’re finally up on the walls, I’ve taken some pictures and put them on Flickr.

A bookmarklet to replace’s image-based maths with MathJax

I finally got fed up enough with’s blurry image-based maths rendering to write a bookmarklet which goes through the page replacing them with the equivalent MathJax code. I’ve added it to my MathJax bookmarklet installation page. Drag the “image replacement bookmarklet” to your bookmarks bar, go to a blog (I recommend Gowers’s Weblog), then click the “Replace image maths with MathJax” bookmarklet.

Update 19/09/2013: Following a suggestion by Peter Krautzberger, I’ve updated the bookmarklet to do the image replacement differently, so the images don’t disappear while MathJax is working. I’ve also made it work on Wikipedia.

Newcastle MathsJam March and April 2013 Recap

Here’s another double-bill MathsJam recap; I’ve been truly awful at keeping up this year.

The first thing I have written down in my notebook for March’s Newcastle MathsJam is a scribbled-upon sketch of what looks like some paths on a torus. I think I might’ve been explaining the definition of the fundamental group of a surface to someone.

torus paths

Stephen brought in a whole collection of exotic Rubikish shapes. David decided to do art with them.




John brought The Mathematical Coloring Book:


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Newcastle MathsJam January & February 2013 recaps

I’ve got a double-bill MathsJam recap for you this time, because I’ve been doing so much other stuff that I didn’t get round to writing up January’s MathsJam before the February one happened. I feel like I’ve forgotten most of what happened, so I’m working off my very brief notes.

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All my new businesses!

I don’t mention it much, but I’m an entrepreneurial, go-get-’em, many-irons-in-the-fire, have-my-people-call-your-people kind of guy! Barely a day goes by when I don’t start a new business with a choice punning name and announce it on Twitter.

Twitter just switched the switch to let me download my tweets archive, so I immediately did that and grepped it for my many many new business names. Here they are:

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Talk: Computability of Bass-Serre structures in the Grzegorczyk hierarchy

My chum the inimitable David Cushing has started a postgrad pure maths seminar at Newcastle. Because there are only a few pure postgrads here, he asked me to give a talk about the stuff I was looking at for the PhD I gave up on last year.

I’ve written a few posts here in the past about the Grzegorczyk hierarchy, computable groups, and so on, but I think this might be the first time I’ve presented my work to real people (apart from an impromptu hour-long braindump when one of the real seminar speakers cancelled and I decided to test my memory).

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Some of my old BlitzMax games

When I was in school I used to spend a lot of my time making games in Blitz Basic (and later BlitzMax). Eventually, as I got older and more boring, I ran out of ideas and started doing other things. I haven’t sat down and made a satisfying game in years. I used to really enjoy it though, and I made some things that I really liked. I used to think that maybe I would be a trendy game designer one day.

I was thinking about that this morning, so I decided to go through and play a few of my old games. I feel just as much a need to show them off now as I did when I made them, so I’ve recorded a few screencasts. Camtasia broke for Unknown Reasons and it turns out Jing is sort of terrible at recording games, so they’re really jerky and the volume’s quite low, but I’m not going to not share them now I’ve made them.

Here they are:

I’m quite disappointed that a few of my favourites didn’t run. I’m sure if I recompiled them they’d work. All of my code is in a repository on github, and compiled versions of everything are on my original homepage, Here’s a list of links to the ones that work at least a little bit:

Trenchant, Poption, Fencing, Bubble worlds, Trader, Schroedinger’s Ghost, Beards, Rowing, Surroundemup, Clockwork Shooter, Schizophrenic Pacman, Museum, Horsey (browser version), Kleinsteroids