Oxford Mathematics Public Lectures

We run regular Public Lectures that enable anyone with an interest in the subject to see the best mathematicians in action and to share their pleasure (and occasional pain). 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 online and on Facebook Live.  Jump down to Public Lectures and interviews online.

You can view and download posters from previous events.

27 October 2017
Stephen Hawking

In recognition of a lifetime's contribution across the mathematical sciences, we are initiating a series of annual Public Lectures in honour of Roger Penrose. The first lecture will be given by his long-time collaborator and friend Stephen Hawking.

Unfortunately the lecture is now sold out and we have a full waiting list. However, we will be podcasting the lecture live (and also via the University of Oxford Facebook page).

1 November 2017

Can mathematics really help us in our fight against infectious disease? Join Julia Gog as we explore some exciting current research areas where mathematics is being used to study pandemics, viruses and everything in between, with a particular focus on influenza.

Julia Gog is Professor of Mathematical Biology, University of Cambridge and David N Moore Fellow at Queens’ College, Cambridge.

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

13 November 2017
Allan McRobie

There is a deep connection between the stability of oil rigs, the bending of light during gravitational lensing and the act of life drawing. To understand each, we must understand how we view curved surfaces. We are familiar with the language of straight-line geometry – of squares, rectangles, hexagons - but curves also have a language – of folds, cusps and swallowtails - that few of us know.

Allan will explain how the key to understanding the language of curves is René Thom’s Catastrophe Theory, and how – remarkably – the best place to learn that language is perhaps in the life drawing class. Sharing its title with Allan's new book, the talk will wander gently across mathematics, physics, engineering, biology and art, but always with a focus on curves.

Warning: this talk contains nudity.

Allan McRobie is Reader in Engineering, University of Cambridge

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

28 November 2017
Andrew Wiles

Oxford Mathematics Public Lectures - Andrew Wiles, 28th November, 6.30pm, Science Museum, London SW7 2DD

Oxford Mathematics in partnership with the Science Museum is delighted to announce its first Public Lecture in London. World-renowned mathematician Andrew Wiles will be our speaker. Andrew will be talking about his current work and will also be 'in conversation' with mathematician and broadcaster Hannah Fry after the lecture.

This lecture is now sold out, but it will be streamed live and recorded. https://livestream.com/oxuni/wiles

6 December 2017
Alex Bellos

In our Oxford Mathematics Christmas Lecture Alex Bellos challenges you with some festive brainteasers as he tells the story of mathematical puzzles from the middle ages to modern day. Alex is the Guardian’s puzzle blogger as well as the author of several works of popular maths, including Puzzle Ninja, Can You Solve My Problems? and Alex’s Adventures in Numberland.

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


Public Lectures Online

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 - Alsion 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

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