Posts Tagged 'Education'

When Roughly Right is Good Enough


How high is Liberty Hall? How fast does human hair grow? How many A4 sheets of paper would cover Ireland? How many people in the world are talking on their mobile phones right now? These questions seem impossible to answer but, using basic knowledge and simple logic, we can make a good guess at the answers. For example, Liberty Hall has about 16 floors. With 4 metres per floor we get a height of 64 metres, close enough to the actual height. Problems of this nature are known as Fermi problems. [TM114 or search for “thatsmaths” at].

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Computers Speaking in Irish

Most of us use computer terminals, tablets and smart phones, absorbing information quickly and easily. How do the many thousands of Irish people who are blind or visually impaired manage to interact with computers? For them, entering data by keyboard or voice is easy, but special software is needed to convert the text on screen into a form for output to a loudspeaker or headphones, or to drive a refreshable Braille display [TM095, or search for “thatsmaths” at].


Braille display (

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You Can Do Maths

Bragging about mathematical ineptitude is not cool. There is nothing admirable about ignorance and incompetence. Moreover, everyone thinks mathematically all the time, even if they are not aware of it. Can we all do maths? Yes, we can!  [See this week’s That’s Maths column (TM064) or search for “thatsmaths” at].

Topological map of the London Underground network

When you use a map of the underground network, you are doing topology.

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Euclid in Technicolor

 The article in this week’s That’s Maths column in the Irish Times ( TM039 ) is about Oliver Byrne’s amazing technicolor Elements of Euclid, recently re-published by Taschen.

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Irish Maths Week 2013

This week’s That’s Maths in The Irish Times ( TM028  ) is all about Maths Week, a major event in the calender of mathematics in Ireland. Over the coming weeks information and announcements about the event will appear on the website for the event (click the logo below):


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Matholympic Heroes

That’s Maths in the Irish Times this week ( TM025 ) is about the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO), which takes place in Santa Marta, Columbia next week.
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Wrangling and the Tripos

The Mathematical Tripos examinations, and the Wranglers who achieve honours in them, are the topic of the That’s Maths column ( TM023 ) in the Irish Times this week.
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