Cambridge mathematicians working in Oxford have come up with a winning formula for the GP consultation.
’Consultations can be tricky things,’ says Prof Candid, ‘sometimes they go well and sometimes they go tits up and we wanted to know why, so we drilled down into the data and created a mathematical model that anyone can use.’
The team spent hours analysing speech patterns, posture and facial expressions
The work was originally started by Prof way back in the 70s but was soon abandoned because, in his own words, it was really really hard to do it when you were stoned. But at last they’ve finally cracked it.
The team spent hours analysing speech patterns, posture and facial expressions as well as a host of other environmental factors and then used complex statistical analysis using a super-computer to pool it all together to cook up the ‘dream’ formula.
‘To the untrained eye the final equation is impenetrable,’ explains Prof, ‘and I know it’s difficult to get your head round it because it’s so counter-intuitive, but think of it this way, if it had a shape it would look a bit like a 4-dimensional donut with an infinitely large hole running through it and if it had a taste it would be a bit like lemon sherbet.’
In the past, Prof Candid has solved several other tricky problems using numbers, like do you get wetter if you run or walk in the rain? What is the ideal temperature for a chocolate pudding? And how many beers do you have to sink before you start to fancy Lady Gaga?
‘In response to the accusation that Corporates are sponsoring my work,’ says Prof, ‘I only have one thing to say, I’m a professional and you don’t have to pay me anything to dream up this kind of bullshit.’
Dr Kevin Hinkley is a GP in Edinburgh