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Moonlighting agony uncle Professor Dirichlet answers your personal problems. Want the Prof’s help? Contact

Dear Dirichlet,

municate with and I’m trying to learn BSL to com f, dea is rk wo at gue lea col A new college, but every classes at the local community e som d nce me com e hav I . her she cocks her head to the side. time I converse with my hands,


— All thumbs, Royal Leamington Sp

Is this a social cue I’m missing?


An interesting dilemma... but I think I’ve heard of this problem before. It sounds like your college is teaching you cosine language. Your friend has obviously worked out that rotating by π/2 allows her to understand you, as sin(x) = cos(x - π/2). Alternatively, your new colleague is a dog.

Dear Dirichlet,

As part of my new year’s resolu tions, my partner and I are trying to lose weight. Part of our regime is to bring packed lunches in to work every day, ins tead of purchasing cooked lunches from the cantee n. We have brought back a rec ipe book from our amazing holiday in Barcelona, and have been enjoying mixtur es of small meals from there. Despite this, and to my surpris e, over the last month we’ve act ually put on half a stone! Do you know any dieting tips that can help?

— Wishful shrinking, York

DIRICHLET SAYS: Sounds like you’re suffering from a bad case of

buy-no-meal expansion. I must warn you though: the growing body of research on this subject suggests that this phenomenon might be exacerbated by your choice of eating combinations of small Spanish dishes. My recommendation is that the diet, for both you and your partner, will be more coefficient if you avoid consuming too many ta-pascal-ories.


Chalkdust, Issue 03  

Popular mathematics magazine from UCL

Chalkdust, Issue 03  

Popular mathematics magazine from UCL