Wonder what’s happening at the University of Nottingham on Saturday 17th June?

On June 17th the University of Nottingham is running Wonder

Digital pack web banner for Wonder

The School of Mathematical Sciences is contributing: our event this year is called Othello at the Casino. See http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/wonder/activities/othello-at-the-casino.aspx for a description of our activities. From there I quote:

Othello at the casino

11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Try your luck at the roulette table (no real money involved!), and learn aspects of the strategy for the board game Othello. You can also take part in games and puzzles and develop your problem-solving skills.
Drop in anytime
Zone 2 – Engineering and Science Learning Centre, B01
Suitable for 7+
We will have staff and students there to chat to visitors, and we will have all sorts of things on display, including Rubik’s Cubes, Towers of Hanoi, Gyroscopes (and their variants), and other exhibits, games and puzzles. We will also have a roulette wheel running , and I’ll be giving tips on how to win at Othello.
Our aim is to show that, as well as being incredibly important and interesting in lots of different ways, maths is FUN!
So, while chatting to us, you can develop your problem-solving skills and refresh those parts of the brain that other activities cannot reach!

Surface Pro 4: Episode 13

No problems recently during classes. But the Surface did lose touch with its pen just now when I was looking through today’s annotated slides. I used Hongfei Yang’s suggestion of twisting the back of the pen to deactivate the pen battery and then activate it again. This didn’t work first time (but perhaps I didn’t completely deactivate the battery, or didn’t wait long enough) but worked on the second attempt. Certainly better than restarting the Surface!

I wonder whether moving the pen out of Bluetooth range and then moving it back into range would have a similar effect? I’ll try that next time!


Surface Pro 4: Episode 12

The dock continues to work very well (so far!).

Unfortunately today the Surface lost touch with its pen again. After trying two restarts and opening various control panels related to the pen, I had to give up and use the “spare” tablet I had brought with me.

3 hours later, I woke the Surface up and it found its pen immediately.

Has anyone found a reliable way to help the Surface to find its pen again when it loses touch with it? (The pen battery level is fine.) On other tablets, when they lose touch with their pen, I have found that switching back and forth between laptop and tablet mode helps. Maybe what I should try with the Surface is attaching the keyboard and detaching it again!

Surface Pro 4: Episode 11

Well the dock for my Surface Pro 4 has arrived, and my Windows Surface is now working with external displays again. Though it didn’t work at first: it turns out that my current display adapter was broken too. With a new adapter (mini-display port to VGA) and the dock all is well.

The new adapter does work intermittently with the direct display port on the surface, but the connection is wobbly and unreliable.

One big advantage of using the dock is that the adapter and VGA cable can then rest safely on the desk/lectern. So I can use my Surface on a laptop stand on a box (for extra height and better writing angle) without there being an issue of the weight of the VGA cable pulling on the adapter and indirectly on the mini display port connection.

Has anyone else had similar problems? I know that some people have abandoned writing with the Surface on a slope because of problems with the connector. Perhaps some good will come of my problems if it helps others in my situation!


Surface Pro 4: Episode 10

Although I can’t currently use the Surface Pro in my classes, I can run Camtasia on it. So I have taken the opportunity to record audio narration with digital pointing to go with some of the annotated slides from the Measure Theory I taught in 2011-12 (the slides where the original recordings failed).

See https://explainingmaths.wordpress.com/measure-theory for the full set of materials.

The two new recordings cover slides 35-36 and slide 37.

Surface Pro 4: Episode 9

Well, currently I can’t use my Surface Pro 4 to teach. The mini-display port has gone from being intermittently a bit of a problem to “intermittently almost working”. Last Friday it became completely unusable. (I have tried with multiple adapters in multiple rooms.)

I am temporarily using my previous (Lenovo) tablet laptop, while we decide what to do. There is a Microsoft dock for the Surface 4 that might help, but it isn’t cheap! It does provide extra USB ports, though, which could be useful.


Misunderstood times

I just misunderstood a spoken time in a way I hadn’t come across before.

Someone tried to tell me a bus was due at 22:11 but I thought they said twenty to eleven!

I guess there are a few more of those …