Much Ado About Numbers
Maths on the back of an Envelope
What is a Googly?


I've written or co-written fourteen 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 around 200,000 teenagers in the last fifteen 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 numerous appearances on BBC Radio 4's More Or Less) and many podcasts.

Recent Blogs

Books: a self-assessment
3 July 24

Authors and their readers don't always agree on what their best books are. more...

Dirk Bogarde and the Blackboard Mystery
26 June 24

A classic 1961 movie starring Dirk Bogarde contains a curious mathematical continuity error. more...

A Blog Index
1 June 24

Use this to find blogs that relate to particular maths topics more...

The Clarity Index
10 February 24

If you want to check that your writing isn't getting too pompous, use the Clarity Index. more...

How Panto Led to Maths Inspiration
31 January 24

Maths Inspiration shows are always held in theatres - and the idea of this type of venue came from a pantomime. more...

Maths, Puzzles and AI
11 November 23

Across the world, ChatGPT is doing children's maths homework for them. But despite its supreme confidence, it often gets it wrong. more...

How to improve the nation's numeracy
17 May 23

Half of all adults have the numeracy expected of an eleven year old. How can we change that? more...

A Monarchy Mnemonic
6 May 23

Many moons ago my mum taught me a rhyme for remembering the kings and queens of England. Now it needs updating. more...

David Singmaster RIP
15 February 23

David Singmaster was a one-off. An avid collector of puzzles, and a world authority on puzzle history and Rubik's cube. more...

Who Cares?
5 January 23

As a society we've got used to leaving it to the system to care for people - but are those days numbered? more...

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