Did you solve it? World Cup arithmetic

On my puzzle blog earlier today I set you three football table challenges: 1) England, Tunisia, Belgium and Panama make up Group G in the 2018 World Cup. Imagine that once they have all played each other the table looks like this. If you know only that England beat Tunisia 3-0, can you deduce the…

Predicting the outcomes of FIFA World Cup

Credit: CC0 Public Domain One of the favourites in soccer’s upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup, Germany, has just 13.3% chance of winning. And Australia has 14% chance of getting to the round of 16, but only 0.1% chance of winning. These are outcomes from an uncertainty model devised by University of Adelaide’s Professor Steve Begg.…

Can you solve it? The birthday birthday problem

Hi guzzlers, My Monday Puzzle column celebrates its third birthday this week. What better way to mark the occasion than a puzzle about a birthday! Ariel, Balthazar and Chastity are great mates, genius logicians and they always tell the truth. Neither Ariel nor Balthazar know the day or the month of Chastity’s birthday, so she…

Connecting the dots to unlock brain structure

Hernando Ombao (right) hopes that more quantitative scientists will become interested in furthering understanding of the roles of genetics on brain function and behavior. Credit: KAUST Mapping genetic influences on connections between neural networks could lead to a better understanding of brain organization and behavior. A review of recent developments in statistical methods has highlighted…

Joyce Fletcher obituary

My aunt Joyce Fletcher, who has died aged 88, was an educationist who taught in Britain and Nigeria, where she worked on a series of maths books for primary schools, including teacher guides and workbooks, which became widely used. A couple of years ago when she was in hospital, one of the nurses, Nigerian by…