The Mathmo Test

This mathmo test is essentially a copy of an older version we found in the internet, presumably compiled by Gavin Matthews and Bob Dowling (unfortunately unknown to us). Our changes weren't meant to deface, but to improve the thing in the sense of the next paragraph.

Any offence caused by this test, to any person living, dead or mathmo, is entirely deliberate. Any suggestions are, of course, welcome - especially those which are physically possible.

Games and Puzzles

  1.   Can you solve Rubik's Cube unassisted?
  2.   Have you ever made a model of a dodecahedron?
  3.   Can you play Go?
  4.   Can you play Othello/Reversi?
  5.   Have you ever beaten a computer at Chess?
  6.   Have you ever played Conway's Game of Life?
  7. hand?
  8.   Do you know at least ten possibilities to catch a lion in the dessert?
  9. hand?
  10.   Do you always change doors in "Let's make a deal"?


  1.   Have you used the word "trivial" more than twice in the last 24 hours?
  2.   Would you answer "Do you know the time?" with "Yes"?
  3.   Would you answer "Is it still raining or has it stopped?" with "Yes"?
  4.   When people make grammatical errors do you correct them?
  5.   If someone accused you of "pedanticism" would you reply "pedantry"?
  6.   Would you wear a jumper with (an approximation to) the Mandelbrot Set on it?
  7.   Would you say "There exists" rather than "There is"?
  8.   Do you drink more than 5 cups of coffee or tea per day?
  9.   Are you a chocoholic?
  10.   Would you talk about "n objects, where n is ..." ?
  11.   Do you make excruciatingly bad puns?
  12.   Have you ever corrected a lecturer?
  13.   ...three times in the same lecture?
  14.   Would you introduce yourself as a "mathmo"?
  15.   Are you introduced as a "mathmo"?
  16.   Do you have strong views on the least natural number?
  17.   Do you muddle up things?
  18.   Are you forgetful?


  1.   Have you ever plotted (an approximation to) the Mandelbrot Set?
  2.   Have you ever calculated (an approximation to) pi or e on a computer?
  3.   Would you know what to do with Napier's bones?
  4.   Do you, or did you read Mathematics?
  5.   Have you read "Gödel, Escher, Bach"?
  6.   Do you favour yellow books?
  7.   Do you play a musical instrument?
  8.   Have you ever programmed a computer to count prime numbers?
  9.   Have you solved the 8-queens problem?
  10.   Are you a member of a maths society?
  11.   Were you cleverer than maths teachers at your school?
  12.   Do you rather spend precious hours of your life tinkering with doublestroked characters in TeX than downloading the appropiate font?


  1.   Do you think more clearly whilst pacing?
  2.   ...fiddling with something?
  3.   Are other people unable to read your handwriting?
  4.   Are you unable to read your handwriting?
  5.   Is your spelling lousy?
  6.   Are you either hopelessly incompetent or frighteningly competent at mental arithmetic?
  7.   Are you short-sighted?
  8.   Are you left-handed?
  9.   Would you fail the Turing Test?
  10.   Do you often forget to have meals?
  11.   Are you physically unco-ordinated?
  12.   When you hear the word "ring", do you think first of a set with multiplication and addition?
  13.   Consider the joke "Why did the chicken cross the Moebius strip? - To get to the same side." Do you find this amusing?
  14.   Does the denary value of 2^16 spring readily to mind?
  15.   Can you "prove" 0 = 1?
  16.   Do you know how many primes there are less than 100?
  17.   ...less than 10,000?
  18.   Does the number 1,729 mean anything to you?
  19.   Does the number 1,728 mean anything to you?
  20.   Do you know what "QED" stands for?


  1.   In the last month, have you gone 24 hours continuously without sleep?
  2.   In the last month, have you gone 18 hours continuously without being awake?


  1.   Have you ever done anything merely to improve your score in this test?
  2.   Do you feel that some of these questions were designed with you in mind?
  3.   Have you attempted to wilfully misinterpret any question in this test?
  4.   Did you succeed?
  5.   Did you notice the split infinitive two questions ago?