Oxford Mathematics Public Lectures

Oxford Mathematics Public Lectures enable anyone with an interest in the subject to see the best mathematicians in action and to share their pleasure (and occasional pain). They are aimed at the General Public, schools and anyone who just wants to come along and hear a bit more about what maths is really about. For booking please email external-relations@maths.ox.ac.uk

If you can't be here in person you can always view online. All our lectures are now broadcast live on our Twitter and Facebook pages and our live streaming service (check each lecture for the livestream address) and most are also subsequently available via our YouTube page. 

The Oxford Mathematics Public Lectures are generously supported by XTX Markets.

Jump down to Public Lectures and interviews online.

You can view and download posters from previous events.

8 October 2020

Further Information: 

When was the last time you read a grand statement, accompanied by a large number, and wondered whether it could really be true?

Statistics are vital in helping us tell stories – we see them in the papers, on social media, and we hear them used in everyday conversation – and yet we doubt them more than ever. But numbers, in the right hands, have the power to change the world for the better. Contrary to popular belief, good statistics are not a trick, although they are a kind of magic. Good statistics are like a telescope for an astronomer, or a microscope for a bacteriologist. If we are willing to let them, good statistics help us see things about the world around us and about ourselves.

Tim Harford is a senior columnist for the Financial Times, the presenter of Radio 4’s More or Less and is a visiting fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford. His books include The Fifty Things that Made the Modern Economy, Messy, and The Undercover Economist.

Watch live (no need to register):

The Oxford Mathematics Public Lectures are generously supported by XTX Markets.

  • Oxford Mathematics Public Lectures
28 October 2020

Further Information: 

Is there a secret formula for becoming rich? Or for happiness? Or for becoming popular? Or for self-confidence and good judgement? David Sumpter answer these questions with an emphatic ‘Yes!' All YOU need are The Ten Equations.

In this lecture David will reveal three of these: the confidence equation that helps gamblers know when they have a winning strategy; the influencer equation that shapes our social interactions; and the learning equation that YouTube used to get us addicted to their videos. A small group of mathematicians have used these equations to revolutionise our world. Now you can use them too to better manage your time and make money, have a more balanced approach to your popularity and even to become a nicer person.

David Sumpter is Professor of Applied Mathematics at the University of Uppsala, Sweden.

Watch live (no need to register):

The Oxford Mathematics Public Lectures are generously supported by XTX Markets.

  • Oxford Mathematics Public Lectures

Public Lectures Online

Smartphones v COVID-19 - Renaud Lambiotte

How do Mathematicians Model Infectious Disease Outbreaks - Robin Thompson

Cheerios, iPhones and Dysons - Ian Griffiths

Artistic Mathematics: truth and beauty - Henry Segerman

Why Does Rudolph Have a Shiny Nose? - Chris Budd

Spin Networks: the quamtum structure of spacetime from Penrose's intuiition to Loop Quamtum Gravity - Carlo Rovelli

Oxford Mathematics Newcastle Public Lecture: 😊🤔😔😁😕😮😍 in Maths? - Vicky Neale

Oxford Mathematics London Public Lecture: Productive generalization: one reason we will never run out of interesting mathematical questions - Timothy Gowers

Waves and resonance: from musical instruments to vacuum cleaners, via metamaterials and invisibility cloaks - Jon Chapman

Soccermatics: could a Premier League team one day be managed by a mathematician? - David Sumpter

Walking on water: from biolocomotion to quantum foundations - John Bush

The Creativity Code: How AI is learning to write, paint and think - Marcus du Sautoy

The Universe Speaks in Numbers - Graham Farmelo

Knotty Problems - Marc Lackenby

The Num8er My5teries - Marcus du Sautoy

Chasing the dragon: tidal bores in the UK and elsewhere - Michael Berry

To a physicist I am a mathematician; to a mathematician, a physicst - Roger Penrose and Hannah Fry

Bach and the Cosmos - James Sparks and City of London SInfonia

Eschermatics - Roger Penrose

Atomistically inspired origami - Richard James

Numbers are Serious but they are also Fun - Michael Atiyah

Can Mathematics Understand the Brain? - Alain Goriely

Euler’s pioneering equation: ‘the most beautiful theorem in mathematics’ - Robin Wilson

Scaling the Maths of Life - Michael Bonsall

Can Yule solve my problems - Alex Bellos

Andrew Wiles London Public Lecture

The Seduction of Curves: The Lines of Beauty that Connect Mathematics, Art and the Nude - Allan McRobie

Maths v Disease - Julia Gog

Closing the Gap: the quest to understand prime numbers - Vicky Neale

The Law of the Few - Sanjeev Goyal 

The Sound of Symmetry and the Symmetry of Sound - Marcus du Sautoy 

The Butterfly Effect - What Does It Really Signify - Tim Palmer

Why the truth matters - Tim Harford

The Mathematics of Visual Illusions - Ian Stewart

How can we understand our complex economy - Doyne Farmer

Fashion, Faith and Fantasy - Roger Penrose

Modelling genes: the backwards and forwards of mathematical population genetics - Alison Etheridge

What We Cannot Know - Marcus du Sautoy

The Travelling Santa Problem and Other Seasonal Challenges - Marcus du Sautoy

Symmetry, Spaces and Undecidability - Martin Bridson

M.C. Escher: Artist, Mathematician, Man - Roger Penrose and Jon Chapman

Dancing VorticesÉtienne Ghys

The Gömböc, the Turtle and the Evolution of Shape Professor Gábor Domokos

Birth of an Idea: A Mathematical Adventure - Professor Cédric Villani

The History of Mathematics in 300 Stamps - Professor Robin Wilson

What Maths Really Does - Professor Alain Goriely

Forbidden Crystal Symmetry - Sir Roger Penrose

Big Data's Big Deal - Professor Viktor Mayer-Schonberger

Love and Math - Professor Edward Frenkel

Why there are no three-headed monsters, resolving some problems with brain tumours, divorce prediction and how to save marriages - Professor James D Murray

Interviews with Mathematicians

John Ball on the journey of an applied mathematician - interview with Alain Goriely


Nigel Hitchin reflects with Martin Bridson


Roger Heath-Brown in conversation with Ben Green


Roger Penrose interviewed by Andrew Hodges – part one


Roger Penrose interviewed by Andrew Hodges – part two


Michael Atiyah interviewed by Paul Tod


Jim Murray interviewed by Philip Maini


Bryce McLeod Interviewed by John Ball