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.

7 February 2018
Michael Bonsall

In this talk Michael Bonsall will explore how we can use mathematics to link between scales of organisation in biology. He will delve in to developmental biology, ecology and neurosciences, all illustrated and explored with real life examples, simple games and, of course, some neat maths.

Michael Bonsall is Professor of Mathematical Biology in Oxford.

7 February 2018, 5pm-6pm, Mathematical Institute, Oxford

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

28 February 2018
Robin Wilson - the Open University

Euler’s equation, the ‘most beautiful equation in mathematics’, startlingly connects the five most important constants in the subject: 1, 0, π, e and i. Central to both mathematics and physics, it has also featured in a criminal court case and on a postage stamp, and has appeared twice in The Simpsons. So what is this equation – and why is it pioneering?

Robin Wilson is an Emeritus Professor of Pure Mathematics at the Open University, Emeritus Professor of Geometry at Gresham College, London, and a former Fellow of Keble College, Oxford.

28 February 2018, 5pm-6pm, Mathematical Institute, Oxford

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


26 June 2018
Richard James

Richard James' main area of research is phase transformations in materials - especially shape memory and multiferrroic materials - at large and small scales. This involves the development of mathematical methods for the analysis of materials at atomic and continuum scales.

Richard D. James is Distinguished McKnight University Professor at the University of Minnesota.

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

5 September 2018
Persi Diaconis

Persi Diaconis is world-renowned for his study of mathematical problems involving randomness and randomisation, notably coin flipping and the shuffling of playing cards. He is the co-author of 'Ten Great Ideas about Chance (2017)' and his Public Lecture will be based on the book.

Persi is the Mary V. Sunseri Professor of Statistics and Mathematics at Stanford University. 

15 November 2018
Michael Berry

Sir Michael Berry is a mathematical physicist at the University of Bristol specialising in semiclassical physics. His interests span a wide range of areas and, in his own words, a particular "source of delight is uncovering down-to-earth or dramatic and sometimes beautiful examples of abstract mathematical ideas: the arcane in the mundane.

More details to follow.

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

Public Lectures Online

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 - 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