25 episodes

A series of talks and lectures from Oxford Mathematicians exploring the power and beauty of their subject. These talks would appeal to anyone interested in mathematics and its ever-growing range of applications from medicine to economics and beyond.

The Secrets of Mathematics Oxford University

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A series of talks and lectures from Oxford Mathematicians exploring the power and beauty of their subject. These talks would appeal to anyone interested in mathematics and its ever-growing range of applications from medicine to economics and beyond.

    Fashion, Faith, and Fantasy in the New Physics of the Universe - Roger Penrose

    Fashion, Faith, and Fantasy in the New Physics of the Universe - Roger Penrose

    What can fashionable ideas, blind faith, or pure fantasy have to do with the scientific quest to understand the universe? Surely, scientists are immune to trends, dogmatic beliefs, or flights of fancy? In this lecture, based on his new book, Roger will argue that fashion, faith, and fantasy, while sometimes productive and even essential, may be leading today's researchers astray, most notably in three of science's most important areas - string theory, quantum mechanics, and cosmology. Yet Roger will also describe how fashion, faith, and fantasy have, ironically, also been invaluable in shaping his own work.

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Maths in Music: The Secret Mathematicians - Marcus du Sautoy

    Maths in Music: The Secret Mathematicians - Marcus du Sautoy

    Professor Marcus du Sautoy (New College), Charles Simonyi Chair in the Public Understanding of Science, author and broadcaster gives a talk for the 2013 Oxford Alumni Weekend. From composers to painters, writers to choreographers, the mathematician's palette of shapes, patterns and numbers has proved a powerful inspiration. Often subconsciously artists are drawn to the same structures that fascinate mathematicians, as they constantly hunt for interesting new structures to frame their creative process. Through the work of artists like Borges and Dali, Messiaen and Laban, Professor du Sautoy will explore the hidden mathematical ideas that underpin their creative output and reveal that the work of the mathematician is also driven by strong aesthetic values.

    • 51 min
    Modelling genes: the backwards and forwards of mathematical population genetics - Alison Etheridge

    Modelling genes: the backwards and forwards of mathematical population genetics - Alison Etheridge

    In this lecture Professor Alison Etheridge explores some of the simple mathematical caricatures that underpin our understanding of modern genetic data. How can we explain the patterns of genetic variation in the world around us? The genetic composition of a population can be changed by natural selection, mutation, mating, and other genetic, ecological and evolutionary mechanisms. How do they interact with one another, and what was their relative importance in shaping the patterns we see today?

    • 53 min
    Bryce McLeod, a Life in Mathematics In conversation with John Ball

    Bryce McLeod, a Life in Mathematics In conversation with John Ball

    A portrait of the contribution that Bryce McLeod has made to mathematics over his career together with his recollections of formative people and events. Interview by Professor Sir John Ball FRS, FRSE , Sedleian Professor of Natural Philosophy.

    • 59 min
    The Prime Number Theorem

    The Prime Number Theorem

    Oxford Students discuss the Prime Number Theorem. Prime numbers have fascinated mathematicians since there were mathematicians to be fascinated, and The Prime Number Theorem is one of the crowning achievements of 19th century mathematics. The theorem answers, in a precise form, a very basic and naive-sounding question: how many prime numbers are there? Proved in 1896, the theorem marked the culmination of a century of mathematical progress, and is also at the heart of one of the biggest unsolved problems in mathematics today.

    Host: Aled Walker, 2nd year DPhil, Mathematics, Magdalen College
    Guests: Simon Myerson, 4th year DPhil, Mathematics, Oriel College: Sofia Lindqvist, 1st year DPhil, Mathematics, Keble College, Jamie Beacom, 1st year DPhil, Mathematics, Balliol College.

    • 38 min
    Roger Heath-Brown a Life in Mathematics

    Roger Heath-Brown a Life in Mathematics

    Roger Heath-Brown is one of Oxford's foremost mathematicians. In this interview with fellow Oxford Mathematician Ben Green, Roger reflects on his influences, his achievements and the pleasures that the subject of mathematics has given him.

    Roger Heath-Brown's work in analytic number theory has been critical to the advances in the subject over the past thirty years and garnered Roger many prizes. On the eve of his retirement Roger spoke to Ben Green, Waynflete Professor of Mathematics in Oxford and himself a leading figure in the field of number theory.

    • 37 min

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