Stand up and be counted

We continue our season of mind-sharpening sharing with a big hello to Stand-up Maths, the brilliant YouTube channel bringing you fantastic journeys into all things math, and tickling your funny bone at the same time. Host Matt Parker, whom many first encountered on Numberphile, has been keeping us informed and entertained for over a decade, amassing nearly a hundred million views and approaching a million subscribers along the way.

Prime viewing

Parker realizes, much like Steve Mould, the line between math and mirth, having like any good line infinitely small width, is an arbitrary human invention that’s more of a mirage than a mountain to overcome. Similarly, coming as much from a stand-up comedy background as the math field itself helps inform his videos with intangible fun factors that keep you coming back for more.

Watch Matt make a computer from dominoes, explain why there’s no equation for the perimeter of an ellipse, figure out how there can be an equation for a triangle, and calculate whether the average person exists, without missing a beat.

Make instant ice cream with a fire extinguisher. Push a pumpkin through itself without squashing it. Hang a picture badly. Get concrete probing parking spaces with Parker. And calculate pi in more ways than you ever imagined. Or do nothing at all.

Plays well with others

Inviting participation from viewers, and copiously working collaborators from astronauts to airedales into the fold, Parker is no stranger to games and puzzles, either (math, word, or otherwise). See his Scrabble dabble, Dobble deconstruction, keyboard crossing caper, and challenging chess chase.

And we’d be remiss without spilling the tea on a few connections to bubbles (he really gets into it), bottles, and, by way of a healthy degree of separation, dried up puddles of coffee in Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life by bubble physicist and champagne co-uncorker Helen Czerski.

Besides the videos, be sure and check out Parker’s website, as well as his #1 international bestselling book Humble Pi: When Math Goes Wrong in the Real World, and Things To Make & Do In The Fourth Dimension. Also appearing onstage and of course on Numberphile.


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