For all of you out there who just can’t get enough of me, I know you’ve all been counting down the days and now the wait is finally over – here’s my monthly review video for February 2017. So other than watching seemingly endless episodes of Peppa Pig and In the Night Garden with my daughter what else has been going on?

Well, many of my GCSE students have been sitting their mock exams over the last couple of months which has given them an idea of what to expect on the new GCSE maths exams which students will be sitting for the first time in around May or June. I think many students, and teachers for that matter, have been a bit dismayed at the new exam style – the questions are tougher, more in-depth knowledge is required and students are tested more on their problem-solving skills rather than their ability to parrot out model solutions. There was one question in particular that really caught my eye on one of the papers; it was a fairly difficult question by GCSE standards but it wasn’t impossible. In this video I have a bit of a chat about the question and, though I don’t present a fully worked solution to the problem (that would spoil the fun for you) I do give a bit of an idea as to why the conclusion (which many people made but couldn’t explain) can be justified.

I also talk about what I’ve been up to learning how to speed-solve a Rubik’s Cube (or should I say Twist Game as it isn’t an official Rubik’s Cube that I use any more?) and a couple of books that I’ve read (or partially read), in particular

  • The Art of Memory – Frances Yates
  • Mathematics, science and epistemology – Imre Lakatos

I’m still practising with my Twist Game (Rubik’s Cube is much easier to say, though) and it’s really fun learning to speed-cube. I still can’t come anywhere close to kinds of times that a proper speed-cuber can achieve but I’m making progress.

Anyway – look out for my video next month and I’m sure I’ll have loads more exciting things to talk about. I bet you can’t wait. Be excellent to each other; and Party on, Dudes.

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