Maths on the back of an Envelope
What is a Googly?
Complete Collection for Parents


I've written or co-written eleven books, some of which have appeared in several languages. The majority are about the maths of everyday life, but I've also written books on cricket, memory and creative thinking.



I am Director of Maths Inspiration, a national programme of interactive lecture shows in theatres that has reached over 100,000 teenagers in the last ten years. I'm closely involved with the UK maths community, from primary schools to universities.


Talks & Radio

I give talks to adults, teenagers and children that range from small interactive workshops to keynote lectures in front of several hundred. I've also done lots of radio, including BBC Radio 4, 5Live, Radio 3 and 2, but not 1 or 6...yet.

Recent Blogs

The history of the six yard box
16 February 20

The markings of the penalty area in football had a strange evolution. more...

Estimating the spread of the Coronavirus
18 January 20

When we hear forecasts in the news, the numbers imply a confidence that is rarely justified. more...

The Number Column Puzzle
2 December 19

Some puzzles involve some lateral thinking. But when does a 'creative' answer become 'cheating'. more...

The Upside Down Swimming Calculation

The Upside Down Swimming Calculation
17 October 19

A dad and his son managed to get the right answer by making two mistakes that cancelled each other out. more...

My Mr-Barton-Maths podcast
16 September 19

Some thoughts on maths, puzzles, parenting and cricket. more...

The pressures of being ranked
21 August 19

We are all intrigued by tables that rank people in order. But how does it feel to be the one being ranked? more...

Are New Zealanders innately Nice?
15 July 19

When I play the Greed game with teenagers, the selfishness of some of them usually means everyone misses out. But there was one exception. more...

The Importance of Humour in Maths
12 July 19

GCSE examiners are discouraged from including any humour in their questions. The unintended consequence is humour-free maths lessons. more...

Recent Tweets

Great thread šŸ™‚

about 14 hours ago

@kyledevans This, and similar:

about 15 hours ago

The curious history of the six yard box in football:

about 23 hours ago

@Kirstenspeak @emma_c_williams @robotmaths version my dad used to recite finished something like: 'deant buses dā€¦

1 day ago

@rapple18 It was the thickness of the jam (1mm), which determined over how big an area the calculated volume of jam would spread.

1 day ago

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