Oxford Mathematics Public Lectures

Oxford Mathematics Public Lectures enable anyone with an interest in the subject to see the best mathematicians in action and to share their pleasure (and occasional pain). They are aimed at the General Public, schools and anyone who just wants to come along and hear a bit more about what maths is really about. 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 on our Facebook page and live streaming service (check each lecture for the address) and most are also subsequently available via our YouTube page. 

The Oxford Mathematics Public Lectures are generously supported by XTX Markets.

Jump down to Public Lectures and interviews online.

You can view and download posters from previous events.

30 April 2019
17:00
Julia Wolf

Further Information: 

Far from taking us down the road of unpredictability and chaos, randomness has the power to help us solve a fascinating range of problems. Join Julia Wolf on a mathematical journey from penalty shoot-outs to internet security and patterns in the primes. 

Julia Wolf is University Lecturer in the Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics at the University of Cambridge.

5-6pm
Mathematical Institute
Oxford

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

Watch live:
https://www.facebook.com/OxfordMathematics
https://livestream.com/oxuni/wolf

The Oxford Mathematics Public Lectures are generously supported by XTX Markets.

16 May 2019
17:00
Graham Farmelo

Further Information: 

The supreme task of the physicist, Einstein believed, was to understand the 'miraculous' underlying order of the universe, in terms of the most basic laws of nature, written in mathematical language. Most physicists believe that it's best to seek these laws by trying to understand surprising new experimental findings. Einstein and his peer Paul Dirac disagreed and controversially argued that new laws are best sought by developing the underlying mathematics.

Graham will describe how this mathematical approach has led to insights into both fundamental physics and advanced mathematics, which appear to be inextricably intertwined. Some physicists and mathematicians believe they are working towards a giant mathematical structure that encompasses all the fundamental laws of nature. But might this be an illusion? Might mathematics be leading physics astray?

Graham Farmelo is a Fellow at Churchill College, Cambridge and the author of 'The Strangest Man,' a biography of Paul Dirac.

5.00pm-6.00pm
Mathematical Institute
Oxford

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

Or watch live:

https://www.facebook.com/OxfordMathematics/
https://livestream.com/oxuni/farmelo

The Oxford Mathematics Public Lectures are generously supported by XTX Markets.

29 May 2019
18:00
Marcus du Sautoy

Further Information: 

Oxford Mathematics Public Lectures together with the Simonyi Science Show:

Will a computer ever compose a symphony, write a prize-winning novel, or paint a masterpiece? And if so, would we be able to tell the difference?

In The Creativity Code, Marcus du Sautoy examines the nature of creativity, as well as providing an essential guide into how algorithms work, and the mathematical rules underpinning them. He asks how much of our emotional response to art is a product of our brains reacting to pattern and structure. And might machines one day jolt us in to being more imaginative ourselves?

Marcus du Sautoy is Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science in Oxford.

6-7pm
Mathematical Institute
Oxford

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

Watch live:
https://facebook.com/OxfordMathematics
https://livestream.com/oxuni/du-Sautoy2

The Oxford Mathematics Public Lectures are generously supported by XTX Markets.

24 June 2019
17:00
John Bush

Further Information: 

In this lecture John Bush will present seemingly disparate research topics which are in fact united by a common theme and underlaid by a common mathematical framework. 

First there is the ingenuity of the natural world where living creatures use surface tension to support themselves on the water surface and propel 
themselves along it. Then there is a system discovered by Yves Couder only fifteen years ago, in which a small droplet bounces along the surface of a vibrating liquid bath, guided or 'piloted’ by its own wave field. Its ability to reproduce many features previously thought to be exclusive to quantum systems has launched the field of hydrodynamic quantum analogs, and motivated a critical revisitation of the philosophical foundations of quantum mechanics.

John Bush is a Professor of Applied Mathematics in the Department of Mathematics at MIT specialising in fluid dynamics. 

5.00pm-6.00pm, Mathematical Institute, Oxford

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

Watch live:
https://facebook.com/OxfordMathematics
https://livestream.com/oxuni/bush

Oxford Mathematics Public Lectures are generously supported by XTX Markets.

18 September 2019
17:00
David Sumpter

Further Information: 

Former Barcelona, Bayern Munich and current Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola is considered by many to be a footballing genius. He has revolutionised the tactical approach to football and that revolution has come about through his careful study of the geometry of the game. But can abstract mathematics really help a team improve its performance?

David Sumpter thinks it can. Unlike the simple statistics applied to (lesser) sports, football is best understood through the patterns the players create together on the field. From the geometry of shooting, through the graph theory of passing, to the tessellations created by players as they find space to move in to, all of these patterns can be captured by mathematical models. As a result, football clubs are increasingly turning to mathematicians. 

David Sumpter is Professor of Applied Mathematics at the University of Uppsala, Sweden. His scientific research covers everything from the inner workings of fish schools and ant colonies, the analysis of the passing networks of football teams and segregation in society.

5.00pm-6.00pm, Mathematical Institute, Oxford

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

Watch live:
https://facebook.com/OxfordMathematics
https://livestream.com/oxuni/sumpter

The Oxford Mathematics Public Lectures are generously supported by XTX Markets.

12 November 2019
16:45
to
18:00
Vicky Neale

Further Information: 

Oxford Mathematics is delighted to announce that in partnership with Northumbria University we shall we hosting our first Newcastle Public Lecture on 12 November. Eveybody is welcome as we demonstrate the range, beauty and challenges of mathematics. Vicky Neale, Whitehead Lecturer here in Oxford, will be our speaker. Vicky has given a range of Public Lectures in Oxford and beyond and has made numerous radio and television appearances.

5.00pm-6.00pm, Northumbria University, Newcastle, NE1 8ST

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

Watch live:
https://facebook.com/OxfordMathematics
https://livestream.com/oxuni/neale

Oxford Mathematics Public Lectures are generously supported by XTX Markets.

10 December 2019
17:00
Chris Budd

Further Information: 

Chris Budd is a British mathematician known especially for his contribution to non-linear differential equations and their applications in industry. He is currently Professor of Applied Mathematics at the University of Bath, and Professor of Geometry at Gresham College.

Chris is a passionate populariser of mathematics, reflected in his appointment as Chair of Mathematics of the Royal Institution of Great Britain in 2000. He works on a number of projects with schools and has written a book, "Mathematics Galore", based on his series of popular talks. He was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen's Birthday Honours List in 2015 for services to science and maths education.

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

Watch live:

https://www.facebook.com/OxfordMathematics/
https://livestream.com/oxuni/Budd

The Oxford Mathematics Public Lectures are generously supported by XTX Markets.

Public Lectures Online

Knotty Problems - Marc Lackenby

The Num8er My5teries - Marcus du Sautoy

Chasing the dragon: tidal bores in the UK and elsewhere - Michael Berry

To a physicist I am a mathematician; to a mathematician, a physicst - Roger Penrose and Hannah Fry

Bach and the Cosmos - James Sparks and City of London SInfonia

Eschermatics - Roger Penrose

Atomistically inspired origami - Richard James

Numbers are Serious but they are also Fun - Michael Atiyah

Can Mathematics Understand the Brain? - Alain Goriely

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

Scaling the Maths of Life - Michael Bonsall

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 - Alison 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

John Ball on the journey of an applied mathematician - interview with Alain Goriely

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4leaH7lEAmw

Nigel Hitchin reflects with Martin Bridson

https://www.maths.ox.ac.uk/node/23405

Roger Heath-Brown in conversation with Ben Green

https://www.maths.ox.ac.uk/node/16561

Roger Penrose interviewed by Andrew Hodges – part one

http://podcasts.ox.ac.uk/extra-time-professor-sir-roger-penrose-conversation-andrew-hodges-part-one

Roger Penrose interviewed by Andrew Hodges – part two

http://podcasts.ox.ac.uk/extra-time-professor-sir-roger-penrose-conversation-andrew-hodges-part-two

Michael Atiyah interviewed by Paul Tod

http://podcasts.ox.ac.uk/sir-michael-atiyah-life-mathematics-conversation-paul-tod-occasion-sir-michaels-85th

Jim Murray interviewed by Philip Maini

http://podcasts.ox.ac.uk/james-d-murray-reflections-life-academia-conversation-phillip-maini

Bryce McLeod Interviewed by John Ball

http://podcasts.ox.ac.uk/bryce-mcleod-life-mathematics-conversation-john-ball