Euler's beautiful brain and everyone else's - Oxford Mathematics Public Lectures

We have two contrasting Oxford Mathematics Public Lectures coming up in the next ten days. One features a genius from the eighteenth century whose work is still pertinent today. The other is very much from the 21st century and illuminates the direction mathematics is currently travelling. Please email to register or follow our twitter account for details on how to watch live.

Euler’s pioneering equation: ‘the most beautiful theorem in mathematics’ - Robin Wilson. 28 February, 2018, 5-6pm

Can Mathematics Understand the Brain? - Alain Goriely, March 8th, 5.15-6.15pm


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

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 to register

Can Mathematics Understand the Brain? - Alain Goriely

The human brain is the object of the ultimate intellectual egocentrism. It is also a source of endless scientific problems and an organ of such complexity that it is not clear that a mathematical approach is even possible, despite many attempts. 

In this talk Alain will use the brain to showcase how applied mathematics thrives on such challenges. Through mathematical modelling, we will see how we can gain insight into how the brain acquires its convoluted shape and what happens during trauma. We will also consider the dramatic but fascinating progression of neuro-degenerative diseases, and, eventually, hope to learn a bit about who we are before it is too late. 

Alain Goriely is Professor of Mathematical Modelling, University of Oxford and author of 'Applied Mathematics: A Very Short Introduction.'

8 March, 5.15 pm-6.15pm, Mathematical Institute, Oxford. Please email to register