About this day
With wickedly good speakers with a passion for what is undoubtedly the best subject (maths), save the date for this exceptional study day. Give your students the opportunity to meet our crack team of mathematicians, engineers, statisticians, architects, code-breakers, data scientists and more for the ultimate educational experience.
Programme & speakers
Fermat’s last theorem Simon Singh, Writer and broadcaster
Simon Singh, author of a book and director of a BBC documentary about Fermat’s Last Theorem, discusses the origin of the problem, describes the heroes and villains who tried and failed to prove Fermat’s Last theorem and tells the story of Professor Andrew Wiles, who conquered Fermat’s challenge after working in secret for seven years.
About Simon Singh
Simon is an author and broadcaster. His books include Fermat’s Last Theorem, The Code Book, The Big Bang, Trick or Treatment and most recently The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets.
Are we made of maths? Mark Lewney, Mathematician and physicist
Does maths really exist, or is it just something people do? Was Eugene Wigner right when he said that the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics in the natural sciences is something bordering on the mysterious and that there is no rational explanation for it?
About Mark Lewney
Dr Mark Lewney, the Rock Doctor, winner of the first ever FameLab competition and guitar physicist blows your ears with rock guitar and blows your mind by Superstring Theory.
Fighting disease with mathematics Sara Jabbari, University of Birmingham
How can mathematics be used to understand antibiotic resistance, track the dynamics of bacterial infections or even develop new drugs to tackle disease? Sara explores a range of examples illustrating how the field of population dynamics can be used to understand disease, improve existing treatments and create entirely new ones.
About Sara Jabbari
Sara Jabbari is a mathematician specialising in the modelling of networks of genes that respond to the inter-, intra- and extra-cellular signals that dictate cell behaviour. Sara was appointed a Birmingham Fellow in 2012 to specialise in the modelling of medically significant microorganisms such as C. difficile and MRSA.
The Mathematics of Voting Chris Good, University of Birmingham
Kenneth Arrow was awarded the 1972 Nobel Prize for Economics for his pioneering work on welfare theory. At the heart of his contribution is his ‘Impossibility Theorem,’ which says that there is no fair voting system. We will look at some familiar voting systems and some of the very strange results they can throw up! The talk will engender surprise, contention and disbelief.
About Chris Good
Professor Chris Good is the author of some 40 research articles in general topology, set-theoretic topology, and toplogical dynamics. He regularly collaborates with mathematicians around the world, including colleagues from New Zealand, Poland and the US. Chris has a long standing interest in teaching and was awarded the first Head of School’s Excellence in Teaching Award.
Quantum Mechanics: Nature’s absurd fineprint LLoyd Cawthorne, University of Manchester
If anyone tells you they never struggled to understand quantum mechanics then they are lying to you. The ideas that arise from quantum physics are completely counter-intuitive, yet are very neatly described mathematically. But if you try to describe a measurable quantity everything goes wrong, including the maths! In this talk LLoyd will show you how very simple ideas in mathematics are applied to describe quantum physics, how apparent paradoxes arise from these and how they are solved. Finally we will consider some actual paradoxes that arise in the quantum world.
About LLoyd Cawthorne
Lloyd specialised in theoretical nuclear physics and obtained a PhD in this area in 2016 at the University of Manchester. He is now an Isaac Teaching Fellow at Manchester where he spends half of his time working with schools and students and he still continues his research when he finds the time.