Barry Cooper: “The Universal Machine” at the New Diorama …

…. the poignant and hugely entertaining theatre production of “The Universal Machine” at the New Diorama in central London. On April 23 there was a special performance with various various prominent ATY supporters in the audience. It was a great treat to see the nieces of Alan Turing there, familiar to many from their engaging TV interviews, with fascinating memories of their uncle Alan.

The uniformly wonderful company, and Diorama staff, must have been really relieved to hear all the positive comments. The music and cleverly crafted lyrics gave a special lightness to the essentially sad story, and both intensified, and lifted the impact to a new level. Turing’s niece Janet was especially happy to see her grandmother (Turing’s mother Sara) played so brilliantly by Judith Paris. Judith also attracted high praise from The Guardian.

There were lots of reviews in the national press. There was a thoughtful piece by Daisy Bowie-Sell in the Telegraph: with our favourite review by the ever perceptive Libby Purves in The Times:

If you live within reach of London, don’t miss it! Some nights are already sold out, but it’s on at New Diorama (just 15 minutes walking from Kings Cross) until May 11:

Seb Schmoller: A report from Keith Devlin’s and Coursera’s “Introduction to Mathematical Thinking” MOOC

This report was first published on 14 April 2013 in Seb Schmoller’s Fortnightly Mailing, and is reproduced here with Seb’s permission.

I’m six or so weeks into Keith Devlin’s 10 week Introduction to Mathematical Thinking, along with some tens of thousands of others.

Here is a longish thumbnail sketch of the design of the course, followed by two appendices. Appendix 1 concerns peer review. Appendix 2 is what the course web site has to say about grading and certificates of completion.

Continue reading