Next week, Cheltenham takes a break from being the home of horse racing and literary and music festivals, and generally being a regency spa town, to put on their amazing Science Festival. There’s a decent amount of maths in the programme, so here’s a round-up of the maths on offer (leaving aside, of course, the fact that all science is maths, there’s also a bunch of science events you might be interested in too).
Some of the events listed below are currently sold out – you can contact the festival box office for returns info.
(Katie pops up in lots of these. Count the number of different ways Katie has found to refer to herself – Ed.)
How to Tell The Weather – EDF Energy Arena, Tuesday 2nd June, 4.30pm
Featuring weatherman Michael Fish and physicist Tim Palmer. Weather forecasting is maths, right?
The Mathematics of Love – Helix Theatre, Tuesday 2nd June, 8.30pm
The awesome Hannah Fry “applies herself to solve the love equation” (?) in what’s likely to be a fun and well-presented tour of the world of romantic sums.
Bell Ringing – Cheltenham Minster, Wednesday 3rd June, 6.30pm
Mathematician Rob Sturman and bell historian George Dawson present an introduction to the science and maths behind bell-ringing. Apparently, there is a whole lot of it.
Mathematical Origami – Siemens Curiosity Zone, Wednesday 3rd June, 6.45pm (repeated again at 8.15pm)
Mathematician and Aperiodical hack Katie Steckles presents some hands-on mathematical origami workshops for grown-ups – test your hand-eye coordination and make some cool mathematical shapes, using only the ancient art of paper folding.
Big Data or Big Brother? – Helix Theatre, Thursday 4th June, 6.15pm
Statistician Mark Girolami, software engineer Martyn Thomas and lawyer Marion Oswald discuss the issues around big data, and the effects of over-dramatic science festival event titles. Shortly followed by…
What If… Data Science Can Solve Our Future? – University of Warwick What If? Zone, Thursday 4th June, 7.30pm
Mark Girolami, off of the previous event and the University of Warwick, discusses the future of big data and data science, over wine and nibbles. Bonus marks for use of cumulonumbers on the event page. Wait, isn’t that just a still from The Matrix?
FameLab International Final – EDF Energy Arena, Thursday 4th June, 8.30pm
Watch the finalists from the 10th annual international science communication contest, with half-time entertainment from Aperiodical gadabout Katie Steckles.
Science Festival Variety Night: An Evening of Unnecessary Detail – EDF Energy Arena, Friday 5th June, 8.30pm
A mixed bag of varioutous (no – Ed.) science entertainment, compèred by Aperiodichum and Stand-up Mathematician Matt Parker, and including at least one mathematician.
This Show is Totally Random – Helix Theatre, Saturday 6th June, 12.15pm
A collection of amazing former FameLab UK finalists, including one half of Maths Gear/one third of FOTSN Steve Mould, presents a family show ($\geq 10$) involving crazy on-stage stunts on the theme of randomness. How random! (If anyone is totally wound up by the use of the word ‘random’ in this context, probably don’t go and see this.)
Fractals: Infinitely Beautiful – Helix Theatre, Saturday 6th June, 2.15pm
Aperiodiperson and mathematician Katie Steckles introduces the world of fractals, with lots of pretty pictures and an absolute minimum of real-world applications.
Matt Parker: Now in 4D – EDF Energy Arena, Saturday 6th June, 8.15pm
Stand-up Mathematician and Aperiodipal Matt Parker performs his new stand-up show, Now in 4D (it does take place in space-time, so technically yes).
Over-Ambitious Demo Challenge 2015 – Winton Crucible, Saturday 6th June, 8.45pm
Maths Gear demi-honcho Steve Mould joins forces with chemist Andrea Sella to run this chaotic evening of increasingly ridiculous maths and science demos. This year, contestants include our own Katie Steckles, as well as known maths-dabbler and Blue Peter science bod Greg Foot, plus The One Show’s Marty Jopson.
The Improbability Principle – Winton Crucible, Sunday 7th June, 2.30pm
Statistician David Hand presents some improbable coincidences and connects gambling with lightning strikes, in this event based on his recent book of the same name.
The Chaos Cabaret – Pillar Room, Sunday 7th June, 5.30pm
Science communicator and biochemist Frank Burnet, along with representatives from the Ministry of Chaos presents a chaotic musical extravaganza. I don’t know what this is going to be like.