Who is James Grime?

Well, as it says on his website jamesgrime.com, he’s a mathematician, lecturer and public speaker as well as ‘a riddle wrapped in a mystery stood next to an enigma’. His videos make maths fun, approachable and downright amazing. It’s like when Neo can finally read the code in The Matrix, only without the awful sequels.

Here’s James on why he studies maths:

OK, some of these problems may be beyond some students, but they’re great for you to see how you can use incredible mathematical ‘tricks’ to hook young learners. Here are five of the best to get you started:


The Married Problem – Will 80 per cent of people get this wrong?
You know those problems that go viral on social media, and have comments sections as fiery and argumentative as, well, as comments sections always are? Well this is one of them.

And if you’ve not worked it out yet, let James explain. Here’s the solution:


What’s the probability you live in an odd numbered house?
Well, it’s 100 per cent because I live in an odd-numbered house. What’s that? You don’t mean me specifically?


The Monty Hall problem
Talking of probability, here’s one that might come in handy next time you’re down to two boxes and offered the swap on Deal or No Deal.


Clock Mind Reader
All you need is a clock and a mind. Got both? Good.


The Self-Descriptive Number
This one’s a toughy, but once you know how to do it it’s a great one to have up your mathematical sleeve.

Here’s the solution:

And if you want to try it with smaller numbers the Wikipedia article explains further.

You can see more of James on his YouTube channel or by following him on Twitter at @jamesgrime