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Personal page
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When I’m away from the office I’m 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.…of which, if I had to choose only one, well, it has to be Hymn to Freedom – the ultimate in mastery of the keyboard from the best of jazz pianists. It’s not one of Peterson’s faster pieces, but it’s still technically challenging and played with complete control throughout. A lovely piece of music.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, Fauré

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

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

Gödel, 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 Gardner’s columns in the
back of *Scientific American* in my youth. Since I started lecturing, I’ve included a puzzle
in the half-time break of each lecture I give. It went down so well I’ve 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)….(x-z)Hints:

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

3. How many zero’s does the factorial 111! end in?

Q1 – well, you either see it or you don’t. Please don’t get bogged down in 26

Q2 – think about the term in the outermost pair of parentheses

Q3 – no hint here – this one’s much easier.