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 Facebook page and live streaming service (check each lecture for the 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.

2 December 2019
Carlo Rovelli

Further Information: 

Oxford Mathematics Public Lectures- The Roger Penrose Lecture

Carlo Rovelli  - Spin networks: the quantum structure of spacetime from Penrose's intuition to Loop Quantum Gravity

Monday 2 December 2019

In developing the mathematical description of quantum spacetime, Loop Quantum Gravity stumbled upon a curious mathematical structure: graphs labelled by spins. This turned out to be precisely the structure of quantum space suggested by Roger Penrose two decades earlier, just on the basis of his intuition. Today these graphs with spin, called "spin networks" have become a common tool to explore the quantum properties of gravity. In this talk Carlo will tell this beautiful story and illustrate the current role of spin networks in the efforts to understand quantum gravity.

Carlo Rovelli is a Professor in the Centre de Physique Théorique de Luminy of Aix-Marseille Université where he works mainly in the field of quantum gravity and  is a founder of loop quantum gravity theory. His popular-science book 'Seven Brief Lesson on Physics' has been translated into 41 languages and has sold over a million copies worldwide.

5.30pm-6.30pm, Mathematical Institute, Oxford

Please email external-relations@maths.ox.ac.uk to register.

Watch live:

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

  • Oxford Mathematics Public Lecture
10 December 2019
Chris Budd

Further Information: 

For our popular Christmas lecture this year Chris Budd will give a seasonal talk with a number of light hearted applications of mathematics to the
festive season. 

Chris is currently Professor of Applied Mathematics at the University of Bath, and Professor of Geometry at Gresham College. He is a passionate populariser of mathematics and was awarded an OBE in 2015 for services to science and maths education.

Please email external-relations@maths.ox.ac.uk to register.

Watch live:


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

  • Oxford Mathematics Public Lecture

Public Lectures Online

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

The Irrational, the chaotic and incomplete: the mathematical limits of knowledge - Professor Marcus du Sautoy

The Secret Mathematicians: the connections between maths and the arts - Professor Marcus du Sautoy

Symmetry: a talk based on his second book, 'Finding Moonshine'  - Professor Marcus du Sautoy

The Music of the Primes: a talk about the Riemann Hypothesis and primes - Professor Marcus du Sautoy

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