Clandestine Maths Club
7 December 2011, by Zoe Cunningham
Softwire have always recruited from numerate disciplines. We mainly target computer science, physics, engineering and maths, although we’re not averse to recruiting from other disciplines if we find candidates with aptitude – including to date philosophy, biochemistry, psychology and even classics.
If you’d asked us before we started, we might have guessed that we’d get the most hits from computer science, but it turns out that maths is the modal subject. About 40% of Softwire studied some form of mathematics, narrowly beating the number who studied the more career focussed computer science.
We didn’t really think anything of this until around the middle of last year, when suddenly equations started appearing on whiteboards throughout the office. It seems that the mathematicians are ready to play…
For example, here’s a graph. I’m not sure what the costings are at each vertex and hence what it demonstrates. If any readers have any ideas, let me know!
This one on the other hand seems a bit more obvious – it’s just a proof of a theorem, right? My maths days are too far behind me to check it out, although explanations of what this proves and why it’s important, corrections and/or better proofs are welcome in the comments section.
Over the next few months I’ll try and keep track of exciting equations that appear, and maybe even catch up with the clandestine mathematicians themselves. Perhaps I can lure them out by leaving a trail of unsolved theorems? I’ll start with this list in Wikipedia.