A big hello to 2014! Last year was a fantastic year for me: I spoke at the Edinburgh festival, I ran the Berlin marathon, I had crosswords published in 1 Across… oh, and I became a dad for the first time.

Cracking year. 2014 is going to struggle to top that.

I have a few goals for 2014 that I want to share in public, just so I have a record of them. You can share yours in the comments, if you’d like!


Wait, isn’t this a maths blog? Well, yes - but being in good mental and physical shape means I have more energy for things like writing and doing sums. I have two fitness goals for 2014:

  • Run a half-marathon in under two hours
  • Complete some kind of triathlon

Those are both stretch goals - I can just about manage a 30-minute 5k at the moment, and will need to work on both speed and stamina. As for triathlon, I haven’t been comfortable in a pool since I was about 12 - once I sort my breathing and eyes out, who knows?


I’d like to have more crosswords in 1 Across, and keep up my setting-one-a-month habit. As a stretch, I’d like to see a Lunch puzzle in a national paper, ideally the Guardian (the choice of discerning cruciverbalists everywhere).


I’m always looking for things I can do better - whether it’s concepts I don’t understand, or things a calculator can do but I can’t.

This year, I’m going to be working on sharpening up my multiplication (largely two digits by two digits), and I’d like to get to grips with elliptic curves and the calculus of variations. If anyone knows of good tutorials, let me know!


With a baby around, it’s much harder to fit in-person classes in, so I’m looking for ways to help people without showing up. I’m planning a top-secret online revision tool so students can revise more effectively.

I also plan to finish some of the ebooks I’ve started, and write more - if you’ve got a topic you’d like to see an ebook on, let me know!


Of course, my family comes first. If the demands of fatherhood mean that any of these things aren’t possible, so be it. Baby is boss!

How about you? What do you have planned for the year ahead?