The latest issue of Chalkdust Magazine dropped last week, and it’s filled with as much mathematical goodness as a fresh unopened box of Hagoromo “Fulltouch” chalk. It’s a proper glossy magazine — also available as a PDF — featuring profiles of notable mathematicians, articles about fun mathematical concepts, puzzles, and more. There is something in there for everyone.
Chalkdust, the magazine, fills an interesting niche in mathematical publishing. The content is a mixture of mathematical articles and other types of mathematical curio such as games and advice columns, and it’s written (mostly) by students in the Math(s) Department at University College London. Consequently, it’s a great resource for student, or anyone who likes to read a little but of casual math on their lunch break.
The latest Issue features a fantastic profile of Eugenia Cheng written by Chris Bishop. I knew that Cheng was a mathematician, an author times two, and a YouTube star, but she is involved in so much more. It’s inspirational seeing someone like her doing such positive outreach for the field.
There are also games! This issue features Hilbert’s hotel: the boardgame, and there’s even a chance to win prizes by completing the “famously fiendish” Crossnumber Puzzle, which is exactly what you would expect, a crossword puzzle with numbers instead of words. The prize is an assortment of goodies from Maths Gear, a website you should definitely know about before the holiday season descends.
Aside from the magazine, Chalkdust is also a weekly blog. There they cover all kinds of stuff from current events in math, book reviews, and even mathematical tattoos. I do love to read about mathematical tattoos.
Content in both the magazine and the blog come from a variety of contributors. Including the students at UCL, there are also contributions from Tae-Danae Bradley, who writes the blog Math3ma, and from Colin Beveridge who writes the blog Flying Colours Math, as well as many other teachers, lecturers, professors, graduate students and mathematical people from all over.
If you or your students would like to submit an article to Chalkdust – which I think would be a very cool idea – you can do that! You can order paper issues of Chalkdust Magazine for a very fair price, or access the magazine in PDF form. You can follow the magazine on Twitter @chalkdustmag.
By the way, since I mentioned Hagoromo “Fulltouch” chalk at the outset. For the unfamiliar, Hagoromo chalk is the best chalk there ever was, gloriously smooth, like writing with a stick of butter. The original Hagoromo factory closed in 2015, but the rumor I hear – which is corroborated on this Math Overflow thread – is that the technology has been transferred to another plant, and you can still ge your chalk fix. But I’ve never actually tested the new stuff, and I can’t vouch for it. Let me know if you have on Twitter @extremefriday.