Off topic, but for those interested in autism, here is a message I just received (sent to the Awares mailing list) from my brother Adam.
Dear Joel Feinstein
The wonderful Liane Holliday Willey is the latest presenter in the monthly series of one-day online autism conferences in the Awares conference centre. I will be putting Liane’s excellent paper on the conference site over the next day or so and Liane will be online all day on Monday, May 20, 2013
Please register right now at www.awares.org/conferences
Dr Liane Holliday Willey, Ed.D. (www.aspie.com) is an inspirational speaker who helps her audience truly understand the importance of accepting people with differences. All her life, Liane knew she was different, but only after one of her family members was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome did Liane realize the reason behind her own differences; she too was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. Liane spends much of her time working with horses at the equestrian facility she owns. Dr Willey has authored several internationally best-selling books all published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers, including Pretending to be Normal: Living with Asperger Syndrome (foreword by Tony Attwood), Asperger Syndrome in Adolescence: Living with the Ups, the Downs, and Things in Between, and Asperger Syndrome in the Family: Redefining Normal and Safety Skills for Asperger Women: How to Save a Perfectly Good Female Life. Liane has contributed to many additional books and journals, and is currently the senior editor for Autism Spectrum Quarterly. In addition to her numerous interviews on national and international television and radio, Liane’s life story was an inspiration for the film Normal Folk, currently in pre-production, and the feature film, Adam, as well as the focus of the video Asperger Syndrome: Crossing the Bridge with Dr Tony Attwood. Liane believes the Asperger’s syndrome community is a wonderfully rich world that is populated by some of the most interesting and incredible individuals on the planet and she is exceptionally proud to be a part of it.
For further details about this and all other Awares online conferences, please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The University of Nottingham’s May Fest this year will be on Saturday 18th May, 11AM to 5:30PM.
For more details, see http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/mayfest/index.aspx from where I quote:
Saturday 18 May!
Following four successful years The University of Nottingham will once more open its doors to the local community for May Fest 2013. Come along and join in with the free, interactive activities for all ages and interests.
The May Fest programme is now available from http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/mayfest/documents/mayfestprogramme2013.pdf
Here is what we are offering in Maths:
Try your luck at the roulette table (no real money involved!) and learn how
to solve Rubik’s Cube. Or look at fascinating mathematical exhibits, games
and puzzles while chatting to staff and students.
Time: Just drop in 11am-5.30pm.
Location: Room C20, Portland Building (No.7).
Recommended for age: 3+
No connection with maths, but my brother Adam Feinstein has been called in by the BBC today as an expert on Pablo Neruda. A judge in Chile has ordered the exhumation of Neruda’s body in order to investigate allegations that he was poisoned in 1973.
In a fascinating development over on Gowers’s Weblog we have just been told that in an earlier post (where we were asked to compare sets of three proofs for results in elementary metric space theory) in each set of three proofs one was computer-generated, one written by a maths undergraduate and one by a maths PhD student.
Given this information, we are now asked to vote for which ones we think are computer-generated. This latest post and poll is at
I have my own ideas, but I’m not going to reveal them at this point (if ever!)
It may be because my hands are too large, but I do keep catching the right-click button on any of the tablet pens I have. In the end I have had to disable this button, even though it is rather useful to have it bring up a pop-up menu with some key-strokes for when I am in tablet mode. (I could take a USB keyboard with me of course. Maybe I’ll get a small wireless USB keyboard in order to provide convenient keystrokes when necessary.)
The tablet control panel indicates that it can support a two-button pen, but I have yet to find one that works. We have tried a Wacom Bamboo pen
but unfortunately my Lenovo tablet can’t see it.
Are there any two-button tablet pens out there which will work on my Lenovo tablet?
Today was the first time that my Lenovo tablet PC lost track of its pen (this was fairly common on my previous tablet, a Toshiba Portege).
When this first started happening to me, I used to restart the tablet in order to get it to rediscover its pen. Then I discovered that it was sufficient to close the laptop and reopen it (getting it to sleep and then wake up).
Today I had actually just finished the class when it happened. Now the “autorotate” settings on my tablet are such that it has a rethink if you change from tablet to laptop mode. That turns out to be sufficient for it to find its pen again! So, if this happens in the middle of a class, I will see if I can get away with simply twisting the screen and twisting it back.
This year was my first go at teaching the autumn semester first-year module G11FPM Foundations of Pure Mathematics at Nottingham. It was also my first attempt at recording an entire module using the resident Lecture Capture systems, rather than Camtasia on my laptop.
There were some teething troubles with the technology, so not all lectures were captured successfully. I also plan to make some changes for next year (including improving the communication between my brain and my mouth in places!). So next year I may make a full set of videos available on YouTube, iTunes etc.
You can now view all of the Echo recordings from this year’s attempt (in a variety of different ways), via the feed
or directly from the Echocenter at
Comments on the technology and/or pedagogy are welcome!