MathsJam meeting 17 February 2015

The latest Portsmouth MathsJam meeting was attended by 11 people, which we think is a record number, and included two new and very welcome attendees, Ruth and James.

Jack1 (there were two Jacks attending) had brought along some coin sliding puzzles which were designed by Bob Hearn and originally appeared on the mathpuzzle.com website way back in December 2005. They can be found on this page (scroll down to the entries for 04 December). We decided these were much trickier than they looked, but Ruth persevered and found a perfect solution for the 66 move puzzle.

Meanwhile, several MathsJammers were attempting some other physical puzzles including the Bedlam Cube, which James managed to solve, and Rubik’s 360 which, sadly, was beyond anyone that attempted it. (The Bedlam Cube is quite a well known puzzle and once appeared on Dragons’ Den: YouTube link.)

As usual, the MathsJam Twitter feed had some interesting puzzles including a point in a square problem from Alison Kiddle, and a cow tethered in a circular field problem. I subsequently found this latter question, with solution, on math.stackexchange.

Finally, we settled down to an old favourite: Perudo. We played mostly in pairs and after a close contest Judy/Gabor edged out Jack1/Nick (a.k.a. PerudoJedi), with Andy a close third.

Overall, this was definitely one of our busiest and most enjoyable MathsJam meetings.

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Next meeting: Tuesday, 17 February

The next Portsmouth MathsJam is on Tuesday, 17 February, from 7.30 p.m. in the King Street Tavern, Southsea.

Last month we played some games of Set, attempted several geometry problems like this one, discussed the 2015 game, and explored graph theory (that’s what I’m calling it anyway) in the Android puzzle game RGB Express.

As always, feel free to bring along anything maths-related that you find interesting.