Resources for Non-Specialists


The Mathsters 

YouTube channel of short maths videos aimed at sixth formers interested in doing maths at university, and other interested adults.


The Maths of Cream Tea

Mathematical proof that clotted cream is better than whipped cream! Note: the papers are reporting that this “research” was commissioned by a clotted cream company. However I was not paid by them, nor did I even receive any clotted cream – and I couldn’t find any in Sheffield so I clotted my own in the rice cooker! Read the full story here.


The Maths of Pizza


The Maths of Doughnuts


The Maths of Mince Pies


Higher-dimensional category theory

The architecture of mathematics [pdf] – an introduction to my field and my research as of November 2001. Written for non-specialists in any discipline (originally as part of a job application), it is very non-technical and includes various flights of fancy and copious analogies.


Mathematics and Lego

The untold story [pdf] – approximate text from a seminar I gave at Newnham College in November 2001 aimed at students and researchers of all levels and all disciplines.  This is not a formally presented document, and it doesn’t include the slides, so some of it is a bit hard to imagine.  Also, a radio interview I did on the subject in December 2012, on BBC Radio 4’s “More or less”.


Mathematical Morality

A talk I gave at the Cambridge University Society for the Philosophy of Mathematics, and in a modified version later at the University of Chicago


Is Mathematics Easy?


Are Lectures a Waste of Time?


Build Your Own 5-Associahedron!


Make your own Eckmann-Hilton Clock!


How to Write Proofs: A Quick Guide


How I do my Multiplication Tables (Hint: I never Memorised Them)


Why I Don’t Like Being a “Female Role Model”


The Logic of Our Fear of Flying