Termcard for Michaelmas Term 2002

Tuesday 1st Week
Dr. Robin Wilson (Open University & Keble College)

“Four colours suffice”
Next week marks the 150th anniversary of the four-colour problem on the colouring of maps. In this illustrated talk Dr. Wilson shall outline the history of the problem and its proof.

Tuesday 2nd Week
Dr. David Acheson (Jesus College)

“1089 and All That”
A personal view of some of the real highlights of both pure and applied mathematics.

Tuesday 3rd Week
Dr. John Talbot (Merton College)

“Ramsey Theory and the Probabilistic Method”
Beyond the pidgeonhole principle.

Tuesday 4th Week
Professor Harold Thimbleby (Director UCLIC, University College London)

“Revolting calculators”
Calculators have been around for centuries, and they were one of the first handheld computerised gadgets. They are now to be found inside mobile phones, on desktop computers, even in wristwatches.
This talk will demonstrate, with your participation, that current calculators have severe mathematical problems. The talk reviews the straight-forward maths behind calculation and calculators, and thence provides a solution to the surprising range of problems identified. A program will be demonstrated and compared with commercial systems (which are all worse).
Please come to this talk with your own handheld calculator, mobile, PDA, or laptop…

Tuesday 5th Week

“Video Night”
Come along and watch ‘A Beautiful Mind’, a film based upon the career of John Forbes Nash, Jr., a mathematical genius diagnosed with schizophrenia, who eventually recieves a Nobel Prize. Starring Russell Crowe as Nash.

Tuesday 6th Week
Dr. Brian Stewart (Exeter College)

“Some Determinants”
The talk will be about some conjectures about determinants offered in a Very Bad Book, how to prove them, and how it was all known to Lewis Carroll anyway.

Tuesday 7th Week
Professor Ian Stewart (University of Warwick)

“Sierpinski and his Gasket”
One of the most famous fractals is the Sierpinski gasket (or triangle), made by repeatedly removing the central part of an equilateral triangle. This strange object turns up in several different areas of mathematics, from the geometry of curves to the Tower of Hanoi puzzle, and from the markings on seashells to Pascal’s triangle.
The lecture will introduce the Gasket, explain some of its many appearances, and may even prove the odd theorem.

Tuesday 8th Week

“Christmas Party”
Join us for our Christmas Party at the Mathematical Institute at 8 pm. There will be mulled wine and party games in addition to the usual tea and biscuits.

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