Jon Trevelyan, University of Durham........ | Home | Teaching | Research | Publications | Personal | Links |

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When Iím away from the office Iím usually to be found doing one of the following:

Playing the guitar, banjo, mandolin, piano
Reading
Doing the Guardian crossword (especially Saturday's)
Collecting mathematical puzzles

My Desert Island Discs would be as follows (for various reasons, both musical and sentimental). They are in no particular order.

1. Hymn to freedom, Oscar Peterson, from Night Train
2. As, Stevie Wonder, from Songs in the Key of Life
3. Rachmaninoff 2nd Piano Concerto
4. Cantique de Jean Racine, Faurť
5. The truth will always be, Pat Metheny, from Secret Story
6. Seven on Charlie, John Pizzarelli, from Naturally
7. May you never, John Martyn, from Solid Air
8. Match of the Day theme
Öof which, if I had to choose only one, well, it has to be Hymn to Freedom Ė the ultimate in mastery of the keyboard from the best of jazz pianists. Itís not one of Petersonís faster pieces, but itís still technically challenging and played with complete control throughout. A lovely piece of music.

Books I love make up quite an eclectic list, including:

English Passengers, by Matthew Kneale
Ella Minnow Pea, by Mark Dunn
Travels with Alice, by Calvin Trillin
GŲdel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid, by Douglas Hofstadter
Nicholas Nickleby, by Charles Dickens
A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving
Dr. Euler's Fabulous Formula, by Paul Nahin - a friendly and fun trawl through complex numbers, Euler's formula and Fourier series/transforms/integrals

The mathematical puzzles thing came about from avidly devouring Martin Gardnerís columns in the back of Scientific American in my youth. Since I started lecturing, Iíve included a puzzle in the half-time break of each lecture I give. It went down so well Iíve started collecting more so that at least I have one for each lecture I have to give during the year. Examples I like include:

1. Simplify the expression (x-a)(x-b)(x-c)Ö.(x-z)

2. Solve the following for x: x^(x^(x^(x^(x^Ö..)))) = 2

3. How many zeroís does the factorial 111! end in?
Hints:

Q1 Ė well, you either see it or you donít. Please donít get bogged down in 26th order polynomials.
Q2 Ė think about the term in the outermost pair of parentheses
Q3 Ė no hint here Ė this oneís much easier.