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Interesting maths documentaries / books / websites?

(21 Posts)
Takver Sun 17-Nov-13 20:30:23

Just saw the recommendation for Jim al-khalili's science documentaries in another thread, they look great.

I wondered if anyone had any similar suggestions for maths tv progs / books etc that might appeal to a yr 7 who enjoys the subject but is feeling a bit frustrated by slow pace of work - thought it might be nice for her to have something interesting and maths-y out of school (she likes Martin Gardner's puzzles, for example)

richmal Sun 17-Nov-13 20:59:40

Professor Marcus Du Sautoy has made a number of good documentaries for the BBC and also did the Royal Institution Christmas lectures a few years back.

The UKMT does maths challenges for various ages of secondary school. Also the nrich website has interesting maths problems.
Simon Sing has done some good books (eg.about cryptography). Other books worth a look are Ian Stewart's Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities and Hoard of Mathematical Treasures. These may be too advanced for year 7 though.

Hope some of this helps.

richmal Sun 17-Nov-13 21:05:26

That should be Simon Singh

southeastastra Sun 17-Nov-13 21:06:15

this was good iirc

teacherwith2kids Sun 17-Nov-13 21:06:48

I presume that she's read all of the Murderous Maths series?

nrich is good. Lots of simple-to-get-into but interesting maths explorations - though she may want a friend to bounce ideas off.

Takver Sun 17-Nov-13 21:08:53

Also happy to have recommendations for books that might amuse me grin (Christmas coming up and all that . . .)

Will definitely check out Marcus du Sautoy, I really enjoyed his radio series.

southeastastra Sun 17-Nov-13 21:12:24

also Richard Feynman on youtube though may be more scientific

Takver Sun 17-Nov-13 21:15:30

I think she's read all the Murderous maths - though there might be more now as it was a while back

nrich looks interesting, will see what she thinks, many thanks

sittinginthesun Sun 17-Nov-13 21:18:52

The Ian Stewart books are good. I'm looking at one with DS (year 5) and he's enjoying it, so should be fine for a keen year 7.

depletedenergy Sun 17-Nov-13 21:22:41

Definitely Marcus du Sautoy, his book The Music of the Primes is fab! Possibly a bit too much for yr7, but he has done other stuff as well.

summerends Sun 17-Nov-13 21:51:36

Simon Singh had an old series on numbers on radio 4 available as podcasts; humour with maths!

AtiaoftheJulii Sun 17-Nov-13 22:05:38

Books - The Number Devil, Alex's Adventures in Numberland. Also Alex Bellos's maths blog -

WatchingTheFooty Mon 18-Nov-13 11:01:05

Takver, this Horizon documentary about Infinity is very good, and if you browse through the Horizon archive you might find a few more that will appeal. Some are more about applied maths. For instance my son love this one about big data and it gave him ideas about the sort of jobs he might like to be able to use his maths for in the future.

badguider Mon 18-Nov-13 11:06:19

Fermat's last theorem is a fascinating maths story - the book might be a bit tough for that age (depends on how much he likes reading) but there was a documentary too that's easier to get into. It was a Simon Sing thing also. this claims to be the whole programme on youtube (though i haven't checked it):

badguider Mon 18-Nov-13 11:08:06

also, it's more estoeric (about dimensions and geometry) but i love flatlands - you either get it or you don't ime - but it can be mind altering!

Nothingtosay Mon 18-Nov-13 12:11:44

Radio 4's 'More or Less' programme occasionally has suitable material for a youngster.

richmal Mon 18-Nov-13 12:42:57

I thought I would go off at tangent to mention a new series of The Infinite Monkey Cage (4.30 on radio 4) starts today.

complexnumber Mon 18-Nov-13 13:16:01

Numberphile is a group of videos on a huge range of maths topics. I often dip in and never fail to find some really interesting. Appropriate for a wide range of ages.

I'd really recommend this as a source of interest and wonder.

Takver Mon 18-Nov-13 19:35:56

Fantastic suggestions, many thanks all smile

mysteryfairy Mon 18-Nov-13 21:11:45

I have got my DS,who is admittedly a bit older than y7, The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets for Xmas. It's also by Simon Singh but has the additional benefit of being about something from pop culture.

I really enjoyed 1089 and All That by David Acheson. It would go right over the head of my y7 daughter but I think would have been ok for my son at the same age. As someone who has done no maths post GCSE an embarrassing number of years ago I had to keep pen and paper to hand and read through some bits over and over to get a handle on them, but his writing style is fantastically accessible.

Takver Mon 18-Nov-13 22:19:27

I just bought one of the Ian Stewart books (How to Cut a Cake) - I reckon either dd, me, or both of us will like it.

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