In 2010, the MA received a legacy of £1729. The number was chosen because of the fame bestowed upon it by the celebrated tale of Hardy’s Taxi. This gave rise to the notion of The 1729 Group.
Membership is open to anyone giving a donation of a sum which is mathematically significant. For example, 1729 is the smallest positive integer which can be written as the sum of two cubes (of positive integers) in two essentially different ways:
1729 = 13 + 123 = 93 + 103.
The scheme was launched at the Annual General Meeting during the 2011 Annual Conference when David Acheson, then President, publicly handed over a cheque for £1089. Since then, there have been six more contributions of £1024, £1642, £3435, £1066, £561 and £1945. It is an exercise for the reader to work out the mathematical significance of each of these numbers.
The scheme is designed to encourage donations but it is also meant to have a light-hearted side to it. Thus potential donors are required to explain the mathematical significance of their chosen sum or, in other words, to obey the rubric -
All donations will be gratefully received and each donor will receive a certificate of membership, signed by the MA President of the day.
Donors will be encouraged to sign a Gift Aid declaration.
Donations for the scheme, along with the explanation of the mathematical contribution, should be sent to:
The 1729 Group, The Mathematical Association, 259 London Road, Leicester LE2 3BE
Please consider 'gift aiding' your donation. Download a form here.
Other donations are also very welcome and can be made online here.
Enquiries about the scheme can be obtained from the Executive Officer