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Talks, etc.

I regularly give talks and run workshops for groups of all ages. If you'd like me to do something at your event, drop me an email.

Making mathematical braids

My most regularly given talk is about braiding, and is based around the problem outlined in this blog post.
Me talking about braiding.
In this talk, I explain how to make a braid with a cardboard octogon, by repeatedly moving the third strand of wool. The talk then moves on to look at which other numbers could be used in the place of 8 (the number of sides) and 3 (the strand).
This investigation leads to a discussion of factors, multiples, and coprime numbers and encourages the audience to make and test their own conjectures. It has been described as "very engaging" and a "wonderful enrichment activity", which leads audiences to be "still pondering over a theory" long after the talk.
This talk is best when it is around an hour long, although I also have an extended two-and-a-half hour version of it that I run as a Royal Institution masterclass.

Tube map Platonic solids

In this talk, I prove that there are exactly 5 Platonic solids, and make a selection of them out of London tube maps. Much of the content of this talk is covered in these blog posts.
The main focus of this talk is Euclid's proof that there are exactly 5 Platonic solids; the talk uses this as a nice introduction to the importance of proof.
This talk is best when it is around an half an hour long.

MENACE: the machine educable noughts and crosses engine

Me talking about MENACE.
The aim of this talk is to explain the basics of machine learning, using MENACE—the machine educable noughts and crosses engine. MENACE is explained in this blog post and these two Matt Parker videos (guest starring me). There is also a video of me giving a short talk about MENACE here.
This talk is best when it is around 30–45 minutes long, although I also run an extended two-and-a-half hour version of it as a Royal Institution masterclass.

Bad stats in the news

Me talking about bad stats at Maths in Action.
This talk focusses on how statistics are reported in the news, and how uncertainty due to estimation is rarely mentioned. It is largely based on the ideas in this blog post.
This talk is best when it is around 30–40 minutes long. I originally wrote this talk to be given at Maths in Action events.

Mathematics and video games

This talk explored a few bits of maths applied to video games, including calculating the shortest route to complete a level of Pac-Man (based on this blog post), and the 3D and 4D surfaces that characters in 2D games live on (based on this blog post). There is a video of me giving this talk here.
This talk is best when it is around 45 minutes long.

Below, you will find a list of many talks and workshops I have given, articles I have written, and other things I've been in/on, sorted by year. I also have a scrapbook page where I collect articles about me or mentioning me.
 2018 

Selected talks & workshops

Bad stats in the news (Maths in Action)
Mathematics and video games (Electromagnetic Field 2018) [video]
Mathsteroids (MathsJam Gathering)

Articles

Power-Up review (Chalkdust Magazine blog)
Chalkdust crossnumber #7 (Chalkdust Magazine, issue 7)
The new Chalkdust T-shirt (Chalkdust Magazine blog)
Review of Galois Knot Theory (Chalkdust Magazine blog)
Carnival of mathematics 162 (Chalkdust Magazine blog)
Chalkdust crossnumber #8 (Chalkdust Magazine, issue 8)

Podcasts

Wrong, But Useful episode 61 (special guest co-host)
 2017 

Selected talks & workshops

Making mathematical braids (FMSP Area Co-ordinators Conference)
MENACE: the machine educable noughts and crosses engine (RI Masterclass Organisers' Conference)
Making mathematical braids (2017 MEI Conference)
Mathematics and video games (SHA2017) [video]
Big Ben Strikes Again (MathsJam Gathering)
Bad stats in the news (Maths in Action)

Articles

Is MEDUSA the new BODMAS? [with Adam Townsend] (Chalkdust Magazine blog)
Chalkdust crossnumber #5 (Chalkdust Magazine, issue 5)
On the cover: dragon curves (Chalkdust Magazine, issue 5)
Review of Elastic Numbers (Chalkdust Magazine blog)
How many quadratics factorise? [with Adam Townsend] (Chalkdust Magazine blog)
Chalkdust crossnumber #6 (Chalkdust Magazine, issue 6)
In conversation with Cédric Villani [with Yiannis Simillides & TD Dang] (Chalkdust Magazine, issue 6)

Videos

Awards & nominations

 2016 

Selected talks & workshops

Making mathematical braids (FMSP's maths arts and crafts teachers' day)
Four stories about recreational maths: MENACE, @mathslogicbot, Pac-Man and bouncing (Electromagnetic Field 2016) [video]
Building a MENACE machine (MATRIX Conference) [video]
Making mathematical braids (Inspiring Women in Mathematics, Imperial College London)
MENACE: the machine educable noughts and crosses engine (MathsJam Gathering) [slides]

Articles

The Mathematical Games of Martin Gardner (Chalkdust Magazine, issue 3)
Chalkdust crossnumber #3 (Chalkdust Magazine, issue 3)
Carnival of mathematics 133 (Chalkdust Magazine blog)
Chalkdust crossnumber #4 (Chalkdust Magazine, issue 4)

Awards & nominations

 2015 

Selected talks & workshops

MENACE: the machine educable noughts and crosses engine (Chaos Computer Camp (CCC)) [write up]
How to set a Chalkdust crossnumber (MathsJam Gathering) [slides]

Articles

Optimal Pac-Man (Chalkdust Magazine, issue 1)
Chalkdust crossnumber #1 (Chalkdust Magazine, issue 1)
For the love of puzzles (Chalkdust Magazine blog)
Puzzles on square grids (Chalkdust Magazine blog)
Chalkdust crossnumber #2 (Chalkdust Magazine, issue 2)
How to kick a conversion (Chalkdust Magazine blog)
@mathslogicbot (Chalkdust Magazine blog)
 2014 

Talks & workshops

Recreational maths in a field: flexagons, folding tube maps, braiding & sine curves (Electromagnetic Field 2014) [write up]
© Matthew Scroggs 2018