Show your mathematics to the world!


Accidental pies

Edinburgh maths common room blackboard Sept 2015This is the blackboard from the University of Edinburgh School of Mathematics common room from September 2015. I particularly noticed it because of the inadvertent appearance of P(ies) in the centre! I’m also enjoying the idea of pulsational energy.


Niels Bohr Institute

Copenhagen Niels Bohr Institute blackboard

This is the blackboard in the common room at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, taken by Andrew Jackson. It is advertising a colloquium given by Julia Collins about Peter Guthrie Tait, with a helpful diagram of a vortex cannon to show people what to expect in the talk.  Unrelatedly, there is a lot of matrix algebra on the left and what seems to be a half-rubbed-off torus on the right. Proof that even in a physics institute, much of the work is really mathematics! We have no idea what the cartoon at the top signifies.

Inverse blackboard

Inverse blackboard Christian Perfect and David Cushing spent the morning computing inverses using their special inverse blackboard.

Going left-to-right and top-to-bottom, we have:

  • The inverse of a 2×2 matrix;
  • The commutative diagram for the universal property of the inverse limit;
  • A variable which is inversely proportional to another;
  • The inverse of a complex number;
  • The derivative of the inverse of a function;
  • The inverse tangent of 1;
  • The axiom for group inverses;
  • Part of the definition of the logical inverse.

Thanks Christian and David for this wonderful idea!


Do not write on the screen

When the inspiration strikes, anything is fair game as a black/white board! (Thanks to Helene at ICMS in Edinburgh for taking this photo!) If you drew this, please own up in the comments. 🙂


Whiteboard doodlesWishing everybody a merry Christmas and a mathematical new year! I can’t remember who sent me this lovely photo, but if it was you then please write in to give your name and the background to these great doodles!


Cambridge boardOur photo today is from James Grime, who is the Enigma Project Officer at Cambridge University. He came across this board whilst wandering around the maths department there: unlike at most universities, there are boards in the hallways (and even, so I am told, in the lifts and the toilets!) to encourage collaboration. This board seems to have a good mix of maths, physics and humour (see the calculation at the bottom!).