100k Subscribers Celebration Q&A

University of Oxford mathematician Dr Tom Crawford answers 50 questions sent in by YOU to celebrate reaching 100k subscribers. Full list of questions with timestamps below.

3:45 – Do you or your colleagues ever get imposter syndrome? What do you think about it?
6:10 – If you had 3 wishes, what would they be?
8:28 – Favourite statistical distribution?
10:08 – What is your dream in the next 10 years?
11:05 – Rugby?
12:15 – Who’s your favourite tattoo artist?
13:24 – Is your passion for math decaying over time? If not, do you think you will have this passion forever?
15:10 – Have you ever played any of the ratchet and clank games?
16:20 – Have you ever done math high/drunk?
18:05 – Should you opt for further maths in A levels?
20:00 – I have discovered a truly marvellous question, which this question box is too narrow to contain.
21:17 – What is the most memorable video that you have made? And are there any interesting backstories behind some of your videos?
24:43 – Would you recommend a maths degree for those doing their university applications soon?
26:44 – How do you style your hair?
28:28 – What’s your favourite food?
30:08 – What are the reasons for your tattoos?
32:40 – Why didn’t you become a geologist?
35:14 – Do you like metalcore and if so what’s your favourite band?
37:06 – I will be beginning my undergrad course in maths at university later this year and if I do as well as I hope to I would love to eventually get a PhD afterwards. However, I am already 23 years old & was wondering if you think any of that is possible given I am 5 or so years older than when most people start uni.
39:24 – Is it possible to improve at maths competitions (eg Olympiads) in a matter of months? If so, what’s your advice for aspirants?
41:08 – How did you get into Oxford? And was it always your dream?
44:12 – In the Numberphile podcast you mentioned that your mathematical thinking may have contributed to your love for Pokémon, do you think this applies to any of your other interests?
46:27 – How do you balance, or separate, your personal life from your public persona?
48:58 – Most hated/disliked subject from school?
50:08 – How do you stay so fit?
51:34 – What was the moment you knew maths was for you?
53:19 – Did you do your undergraduate at Oxford or Cambridge?
53:55 – Have there ever been parts of maths that have frustrated you, or you didn’t really enjoy (within your education)?
55:50 – How many digits of pi can you recite off the top of your head?
57:00 – I want to start a YouTube channel but I’m afraid about eventually running out of topics, what would you suggest?
1:00:34 – If you weren’t an educator, what job would you have liked instead where you could apply your knowledge of maths?
1:02:50 – Does it feel weird that some of your students may have seen you in your pants first because of YouTube?
1:05:07 – What/Who inspires you the most and why?
1:06:57 – I was wondering what kind of art and music inspires you. Not just their domains, but instances of creators that brighten your days.
1:09:47 – What inspired you to do maths?
1:10:22 – How do you balance your work and scientific life, your psychological comfort, and your self-care?
1:13:25 – Are Oxford professors highly paid?
1:14:48 – What’s your favourite number?
1:16:08 – What’s your one piece of advice for prospective Oxford undergrads?
1:18:45 – I’m a maths teacher who often struggles with classes showing no interest or motivation for maths at all – they feel as it’s forced upon them and they don’t see any use for it. Any tips to engage my pupils more?
1:21:37 – Any tattoos you *regret*?
1:22:42 – How conducive is grade school maths in allowing one to become a mathematician? It seems to me that maths is very sequential when you learn. What tips would you have for an aspiring mathematician to broaden their horizons?
1:25:42 – Do you have pushy, controlling parents?
1:27:23 – Have you studied much philosophy of maths? What do you consider the relationship between numbers and humans to be?
1:29:57 – In your opinion, what can the average person (who is not a teacher) do to promote math to a broader audience and current youth?
1:31:44 – What is you advise to someone who just started doing research in maths?
1:34:00 – What do you think are some of the most exciting & promising areas within mathematics in the modern day?
1:36:41 – Do you go sock sock shoe shoe or sock shoe sock shoe?
1:37:40 – Why did you choose applied maths over physics?
1:38:23 – Can hitchhikers make it to the edge of the universe? Is infinity infinite?
1:40:11 – What are your thoughts on Erik Ten Haag becoming Man Utd manager?
1:41:43 – Do you know if top universities like Oxford consider applicants into their postgraduate programmes who have undergrad degrees from lesser institutions? Would applicants from those universities generally be put at a significant disadvantage for postgrad entry into a place like Oxford compared to undergrads from other top unis?
1:43:16 – Was teaching at Oxford one of your goals? Or did the opportunity show itself and you took it?
1:45:32 – What do you love most about teaching math?
1:47:33 – Who is your favourite mathematician in history and why?
1:50:00 – Was there one particular maths problem from your schooling that you remember most clearly above the rest? If so, why?

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