Alex Bellos, journalist and author of ‘Alex’s adventures in numberland’.
Dispatches from the wonderful world of mathematics
What is your favourite number? (34835)
People’s stories behind their favourite number.
37 – it looks mysterious like a cloaked villain from a silent movie
219 – the first number too boring to have its own wikipedia entry
101 – lowest whole number with an ‘a’ in it
3 is the largest number we can count without thinking. Ancient civilisation’s numbers 1-3 are lines, 4 is a symbol. Indian numerals 1-4 when joined up without taking hand off page shows the beginning of our digits.
Solving multiplication sums using lines???? Need to look at this again!
Cross multiplication is an Indian/Hindu method (Vedic Mathematics). This is where it is believed the x symbol for multiplication originated.
What is a number?
Different ways of tallying in different cultures. Some as we do, some as 4 to create a square and 1 extra line through it. In Japan, completely different.
Embracing the creativity of the language in mathematics.
Numbers on car number plates – when the digits line up in terms of multiplication he takes a photo. E.g. 41 – 04 (4×2=04)
Video clips of Japanese pupils calculating.