Unrepresentative Voting

Leslie Green explains how our voting systems can be unrepresentative.


Five different parties are standing in an election for one representative. The voting  methods:  First past the post (FPTP): the party with the highest vote-count wins.

Is the voting system representative?

The no-pets party has 30% of the total, whereas parties that want pets are the remaining 70%.  As it stands the FPTP system would vote-in the no-pets party, which does not represent the view of the electorate.  What has happened is that the pro-pet movement has splintered, dividing the vote. In order to overcome this, one can use a transferable vote scheme so people can vote for their preferred option safely, preventing the hated no-pets party from winning.

A more detailed analysis can be found in an example.


Creativity is the Key Skill of the Future

According to Jack Ma:

The key feature skills of the Future are:

– Value
– Believing
– Independent thinking
– Team work
– Care of others

In the future, it is not about a competition of knowledge, it is a competition of creativity, it is a competition of imagination, it is a competition of learning.

Big Ben Maths

Big Ben is the nickname for the Great Bell of the clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London, United Kingdom.  bigben

A pile of old coins helps to keep the clock mechanism accurate.  The pennies are stacked on the pendulum of the clock and have acted as weights. Adding or taking away coins effects the pendulum’s centre of mass and the rate at which it swings. A single penny will change the clock’s speed by two fifths of one second per day.

How does the weekly time change if we add 5 pennies to the pendulum?


At twelve o’clock, twelve chimes  ring from the great bell in 44 seconds. ## How long does it takes to ring the hours at 15:00 ?


Math Symbols

We use math symbols to express complex mathematical texts in a shorter form.

=   replaces   “is equal to

+ replaces “and

×   replaces   “multiplied by

. . . .

There are many Greek symbols like   π ∑   and special symbols like   √ ∞ ∈   in mathematics.

John David Walters explains where math symbols come from in the video:

A Self-educated Mathematician Established the Boolean Algebra


George Boole (1815–1864)

The term “Boolean algebra” honors George Boole (1815–1864), a self-educated English mathematician. Boolean algebra captures essential properties of both set operations and logic operations. Boolean logic is credited with laying the foundations for the information age (computers and cell phones).

One of the puzzles on Boolean logic:

There are three balls X, Y and Z. They are colored red, white and blue, but not necessarily in this order. One, but only one, of the following statements is true:

X is red

Y is not red

Z is not blue

3 balls
How many solutions does the puzzle have?

Think yourself before checking the solution.

Interesting Maths Facts


blank board

  • Notches (cuts or indentation) on animal bones prove that humans have been doing mathematics since around 30,000 BC.
  • Ancient Greeks used little rocks to represent numbers. The name of Calculus means pebbles in Greek.
  • The = sign (“equals sign”) was invented by 16th Century Welsh mathematician Robert Recorde, who was fed up with writing “is equal to” in his equations.
  • The word hundred is derived from the word “hundrath”, which actually means 120 and not 100.
  • Zero (0) is the only number which cannot be represented by Roman numerals.
  • Many Chinese hospitals do not have a 4th floor  because the words four in Japanese, Cantonese, Mandarin and Korean (shi, sei, si, sa) sound the same as the words in those languages for death.
  • Forty is the only number with letters in alphabetical order, while one is the only one with letters in reverse order.
  • The number 5 is pronounced as ‘Ha‘ in Thai language. 555 is also used by some as slang for ‘HaHaHa’.
  • Zero is an even number. Mathematicians remember it. Many people take longer to decide whether it is even or odd.

The Largest Known Prime Number

The largest known prime number was discovered in 2016 by a computer laboratory of the University of Central Missouri .

257,885,161 – 1

is one of the Mersenne primes that can be written in form 2n – 1, where n is an integer.  They are named after 17-century French mathematician Marin Mersenne.


The number written in the decimal form contains 17 million digits.