11 March 2018


I had a wonderful day at #mathsconf14 in Kettering yesterday. Kettering is my favourite La Salle conference venue! Normally after a conference I write a detailed blog post about all the new things I learnt, but I've promised my daughters that I won't spend Mothering Sunday on my laptop, so today's post is very short.

I had a lovely time on Friday night, starting with celebratory drinks with my Twitter besties Craig, Ed and Tom (between us celebrating three new books and one new job).
I then had a lovely dinner with friends, including my former colleague Mariana who was attending her first ever conference. After dinner we joined the rest of the delegates for drinks - what a fantastic turnout! I was really grateful to Martin Noon who gave me another beautiful old textbook to add to my collection.

I had to arrive at the conference ridiculously early on Saturday to set up the MA bookstand, which I helped out on between workshops. We gave free goody bags to the first 100 visitors, and had a busy day selling lots of excellent books. I didn't get time to visit the rest of the exhibition but I was very pleased to meet Rob Eastaway on the Maths Inspiration stand, where I picked up a free truncatable prime pencil (when you sharpen it, the number remains prime!). Here's Lucy Rycroft-Smith modelling a giant version:
I loaded up on sweets to keep me going - thanks to Rob Smith for stocking the tuck shop with plenty of astro belts (my favourite!).

I enjoyed all four workshops I went to, and was gutted to miss the rest. It's always so hard to pick workshops. I won't go into detail about the sessions I attended here because I have already done so in my podcast with Craig Barton. Craig and I sat down immediately after the conference (well, after he'd finished giving autographs) and recorded a chat about what we learnt from each workshop. It's a relatively short podcast, so if you can spare 40 minutes then do have a listen.
If people like this 'Conference Takeaways' Podcast idea, we'll make it a regular thing, so do let us know your feedback.
I'm all fired up for BCME now, which is only three weeks away. Hopefully see you there, or at the next La Salle conference in Manchester.

Thank you to Mark McCourt, the La Salle team and everyone involved for another fantastic day.


  1. yes the post conf podcast is a great idea and this first one was good to listen to even though I had attended ... look forward to more in the week of BCME please which I will be missing. Matt

    1. Thank you Matt! Really appreciate the feedback. Hopefully see you in Manchester.

  2. Jo: Conference podcast is a great idea. Congratulations to you and Craig. I hope you will be able to look into my ICT Strand at BCME - there are 10 sessions on technology. Douglas

  3. Hi Jo.
    It was lovely to meet you and I thought the podcast was useful. Maybe one person could briefly contribute from every session in future to cover it all? I am looking into the bar modelling idea like we discussed. Have a good rest of term.
    Justin Talbot @mrjtalbot

    1. Thanks Justin, great to meet you! Good idea, but I suppose the problem with covering every session is how long it would take. We record it straight after the conference, and we'd be there for hours if we tried to cover everything (especially at BCME where there are hundreds of sessions!). I'll have a think about what we can do differently next time though, to cover more sessions. Thanks for the feedback! Much appreciated.