Mathspig set out to establish a Media Savvy maths blog. As someone who has written for newspapers for over 25 years I have noticed a tragic decline in mathematical thinking in the media. When articles are published or facts quoted in the media very few people ask ‘DO THESE NUMBERS MAKE SENSE?’. It is Mathspig’s objective to stick a snout in the media trough and sniff out the maths rubbish. As a humourist, Mathspig’s mission is also to make maths fun.
Writing this blog led to an epiphany. I was a freaky kid you loved maths from the first day at school. In high school a teacher would set a few problems for homework, I’d do them all. I studied science-engineering at uni and I taught maths. And loved it. But coming back to maths after a 25-year break…. I suddenly realised I’d been duped. I had never solved a maths problem that gave me an answer I desperately needed to know. I wanted to get the answer right. But it had no meaning. I just moved onto the next problem.
So Mathspig has evolved into a blog that creates realistic problems for students to solve. eg. ‘Can you duck a bullet?’ Mathspig uses basic but elegant maths to make the problems accessible to all. This is my newspaper experience at work. If you ask the right question students will want to know the answer. But I won’t give them the answer. They have to work it out for themselves.
This is MOTIVATION, my piggy friends. And it works.
Moreover, I know it works due to the global response of enthusiasm for or outrage to these posts.