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Sir Thomas Urquhart was a 17th-century Scottish eccentric who tried to systematize a new language for trigonometry; the law of sines was abbreviated as “eproso”, which (if you know the system) encapsulates its meaning.

Another day, another "I tried to drink the free juice you gave me but the instructions didn't say not to pour it on my lap. Do you have a drink that isn't broken?" open source tech support email.

Me to lecturer: "I can implement all these question types except this one. This one is impossible, and bad."

Lecturer, 5 times a day: "I've come up with a question, it relies entirely on <forbidden question type>. Let me know when it's done!"

Four pages are indeed necessary for planar graphs:

At STOC 1986, Yannakakis proved that planar graphs have 4-page book embeddings (see for what this means), announced an example requiring 4 pages, but never published the example. Finally now Bekos et al. have provided detailed constructions for planar graphs requiring 4 pages.

Still lost in limbo: Unger's claim from 1992 that testing 3-page embeddability with fixed vertex ordering is polynomial.

:chalkdust_scorpion: Issue 11 of Chalkdust is out today! You can read all the articles online at

@esoterica A classic paper, closely related to the theory of height functions for tilings and colorings.

can’t believe there’s people who don’t like math

Five minutes back and forth with Overleaf claiming it's never heard of \mathbb until I realised I hadn't done \usepackage{amsmath}


Back on my animations nonsense.
The toddler came to look:

"You doing maths, daddy?"
"I like that maths!
"How is that maths?"

There's another wave of spam bots creating accounts, so I've made registrations on require approval for the meanwhile

Conway has died.

People here might know him best for the "Game of Life", but he did so much more. The book about Conway by Siobhan Roberts is an interesting read about the man and his work.

Some will know Conway via is work on the Classification of Finite Simple Groups (with *many* others), some via his "Look and Say" sequence, while still others will know his book "Winning Ways", written with Richard Guy and Elwyn Berlekamp. My copy signed by all three is something I treasure.

Just fitted a new aerator to the tap on the bathroom sink. Now in full control of flow rate. Feel like Handy Andy crossed with a Pharaoh*.


One of my favorite math things is...

What is 40 - 32 / 2?
The answer is 4!

An interesting example of Brouwer's fixed point theorem: I think the tummy button of the snowman on the girl's PJs lines up with her own tummy button.

Real-world analysis: for any ε>0, there is a dog δ such that δ's whiskers are within ε of my toast.

The toddler has started using the words 'maybe' and 'probably'. Time to inoculate her against frequentist interpretation.

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