The Plus advent calendar 2019

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We always do our very best to include pictures of kittens wherever possible — and if it's not kittens, then we are equally happy with rabbits, whales, or even ants.

That's not entirely gratuitous: we do have a number of articles exploring mathematics that is related to animals. In this year's advent calendar we bring you all of these articles to enjoy during a quiet night by the fire, hopefully with a cat purring on your lap. Happy reading and merry Christmas!

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  • Want facts and want them fast? Our Maths in a minute series explores key mathematical concepts in just a few words.

  • What do chocolate and mayonnaise have in common? It's maths! Find out how in this podcast featuring engineer Valerie Pinfield.

  • Is it possible to write unique music with the limited quantity of notes and chords available? We ask musician Oli Freke!

  • How can maths help to understand the Southern Ocean, a vital component of the Earth's climate system?

  • Was the mathematical modelling projecting the course of the pandemic too pessimistic, or were the projections justified? Matt Keeling tells our colleagues from SBIDER about the COVID models that fed into public policy.

  • PhD student Daniel Kreuter tells us about his work on the BloodCounts! project, which uses maths to make optimal use of the billions of blood tests performed every year around the globe.