North & South

Mathematics, a beautiful elsewhere

WHEN HIS SON Leo was small, my brother Geoff, like most parents, read him stories at night. Unlike most parents, he also lobbed his six-year-old maths problems, which Leo seemed to enjoy just as much. I once heard the two companionably solving sums together, after the light was out.

Geoff wanted Leo to know the simple pleasure of figuring stuff out, and to know that maths is not just sums, not just a language, but also a playground.

My brother does maths for a living. He teaches probability, statistics and applied mathematics at Oxford, which might sound dry. But in academia, stats is an access-all-areas lanyard. Being able to make sense of data for other researchers is a sought-after skill from science to the humanities.

“If I offer [other scientists] stats help, I get buried

Stai leggendo un'anteprima, registrati per continuare a leggere.

Altro da North & South

North & South1 min letti
Rave Review
How 21st century: a reimagined television series of a reimagined television series. This mega-budget Netflix sci-fi is based on the 1965 TV series, which was a reworking of a novel written in 1812. How far the Robinsons have come. Even those who love
North & South9 min letti
People Watching
It is a truly sobering photograph of George and Alexander Hillary practising for their Mt Everest climb (Four Hillarys and a Mountain, March). The mountains in the background display the location and pathways of many former glaciers now totally melte
North & South8 min letti
Spirited Away
Jo James was… well, she doesn’t like to reveal exactly how old she was when a babysitter introduced her to gin, but she was amazed by how much it tasted like hairspray. “I remember wondering why people drank this stuff, then thinking, actually, it’s