Marcus Du Sautoy announces details of his Royal Institution Christmas Lectures

<center> <img src="/images/pngs/dusautoy/lecta.png"> <img src="/images/pngs/dusautoy/lectb.png"> <!-- <img src="/images/pngs/dusautoy/lectc.png"> <img src="/images/pngs/dusautoy/lectd.png"> --> <img src="/images/pngs/dusautoy/lecte.png"> <br> <img src="/images/pngs/dusautoy/lectf.png"> <img src="/images/pngs/dusautoy/lectg.png"> </center> <p> The RI and Five are delighted to announce details of leading Mathematician and best-selling author, Marcus du Sautoy's 2006 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures. </p> <p> The lectures, which serve as a forum for presenting scientific issues to young people and are sponsored by the Leverhulme Trust, will be shown during peak-time as part of Five's Christmas schedule for the second year running. </p> <p> Du Sautoy's lectures promise a grand tour of the fascinating world of mathematics. From numbers to shapes and from codes to chaos, the num8er my5teries will tell some of the great stories of mathematics. </p> <p> At the heart of every lecture is a conundrum that has stumped mathematicians and for which a million dollar reward has been offered for a solution. So, today's audience might even be tomorrow's mathematical millionaires. </p> <p> Du Sautoy, who is Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford and a fellow of Wadham College, said: "I became a mathematician because I attended the first Christmas Lectures dedicated to mathematics in 1978 and saw, for the first time, what mathematics is really about". </p> <p> "It thrives as much on the enigmas we haven't explained as on the things we know. I hope that this year's lectures will inspire the next generation of mathematicians who will crack the mathematical mysteries that still remain unsolved". </p> <p> Aimed at capturing the imagination of children in their early teens, the lectures will show how a small amount of maths can bring alive some of the most exciting mysteries of the universe. </p> <p> Many adults might be surprised to find that there is much more to a subject they thought was just a load of long division and fractions. In the lectures, Marcus reveals how mathematics has helped build the modern world. </p> <p> Every time we download a song from i-tunes, take a flight across the Atlantic or talk on our mobile phones, we are relying on the great inventions of mathematics. </p> <p> In The curious incident of the never-ending numbers, Marcus looks at the most fundamental numbers in mathematics: the primes. These indivisible numbers aren't just important for mathematicians. They are also the key to Real Madrid's success, secrets on the Internet and the survival of insects in the Forests of North America. </p> <p> In The story of the elusive shapes, Marcus explains how to use mathematics to fake a Jackson Pollock, how to work out whether or not the universe has a hole in the middle and how to make the world's roundest football. Marcus will even show us how to see shapes in four dimensions. </p> <p> In The secret of the winning streak, find out how maths provides the best strategy for optimising your success in game shows and gambling. We also discover why mathematics is behind some of the best magic tricks and can give you the edge in many strategy games. </p> <p>In The case of the uncrackable code, Marcus reveals how mathematicians have been making and breaking codes ever since we've been trying to communicate secretly. In a reconstruction of the dark days of World War II, Marcus will challenge a team at Bletchley Park to crack a code that many thought impenetrable. </p> <p>The final lecture of the series is The quest to predict the future. From the flight of asteroids to an impending storm, from bending a ball like Beckham to predicting population growth, maths can help sort out what's going to happen next. But not everything is as predictable, as Marcus will illustrate. </p> <p> The <a href="http://www.rigb.org/rimain/events/christmaslectures.jsp">2006 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures</a> air on Five from 25-29 December at 7.15pm.</p>