The Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA) and the London Mathematical Society (LMS) have announced that Professor Marcus du Sautoy, University of Oxford, will receive the 2014 Christopher Zeeman Medal for the Promotion of Mathematics to the Public.
Marcus du Sautoy has held the Charles Simonyi Chair for the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford since 2008 and has been communicating mathematics to the general public for more than 20 years. Marcus has appeared in and presented numerous radio and TV programmes, written many popular books and contributed to theatrical productions. These include the School of Hard Sums and TalkSport as well as news programmes on the World Service, BBC Radio 4, 5 Live and local radio. In 2006 Marcus become only the third mathematician to deliver the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures. His play X&Y, which grew out of his collaboration with Complicité Theatre Company’s production of A Disappearing Number, is an illuminating, thrilling work of theatre with mathematics genuinely at its core. His work with audiences exploring the mathematics in Mozart’s Magic Flute is similarly remarkable as a piece of mathematical communication.
In a joint statement, IMA President Professor Dame Celia Hoyles and LMS President Professor Terry Lyons FRS said, ‘We are delighted to award the 2014 Zeeman Medal to such a brilliant mathematician and exceptional communicator as Marcus du Sautoy. Mathematics plays a vital role in every aspect of our society and Professor du Sautoy plays a unique role in helping the public to become more excited about mathematics. He has an amazing ability to communicate the magic of mathematics to young and old alike, and to enthuse upcoming generations to engage with the subject.’
The Christopher Zeeman Medal is a triennial award of the IMA and LMS to recognise and reward the contributions of mathematicians involved in promoting mathematics to the public, and to encourage others to work in this area by demonstrating that such activities are valued and are a part of a mathematician’s role and responsibilities. The medal is named in honour of Professor Sir Christopher Zeeman, FRS, one of the UK’s foremost mathematicians who spent much of his career at the Universities of Warwick and Oxford sharing his love of mathematics with the public. In 1978, Sir Christopher was the first ever mathematician to be asked to deliver the Royal Institution’s Christmas lectures in its 125 year history.