## News from the world of Maths

Convex or concave? It's a question we usually answer just by looking at something. It's convex if it bulges outwards, and concave if it bulges inwards. But when it comes to mathematical functions, things aren't that simple. A team of computer scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have recently shown that deciding whether a mathematical function is convex can be very hard indeed.

Whatever you're planning to do tonight, cancel it! Because tonight at 9pm on BBC Two it's the first episode of Marcus du Sautoy's new series The Code. It's a three-part series about maths in the world around us, exploring anything from honeycombs to flocks of birds, nautilus shells to planetary motion.

Did you know slime mould can recreate the Tokyo subway network? Or the special connection between crickets and Kevin Bacon? Samuel Hansen does and he wants to tell you all the weird and unexpected stories from the mathematical world... but he needs your help.

This summer the Royal Institution is running a series of workshops as part of its Engineering Week where you will have a chance to try your hand at engineering and discover it is rocket science, underwater robotics, hip joint design, crash testing and much more!

The UK has won two gold, one silver and two bronze medals at this year's International Mathematical Olympiad! and 1 Honourable Mention. The team came 17th out of 101 participating countries, and also received one honourable mention. It has been fifteen years since the UK team was last awarded two gold medals.

In our Science fiction, science fact project you told us that you'd like to know what time is. So we've gone and talked to an expert — Paul Davies — and we'll publish his response shortly. Meanwhile, we're opening our poll for the second round, to see which question you'd like to have answered next. So get voting!

Has your school been using our sister site Maths and Sport: Countdown to the Games as a learning resource? If yes, your commitment could earn you a reward from London 2012.

Mathematics is the language of the sciences, and the 2011 British Science Festival will be speaking volumes about how exciting maths can be. From events exploring the impact of maths on ground breaking scientific ideas to the role of statistics in professional sports, there's enough to bring out the mathlete in everyone.