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I’ve re-recorded Alan Turing’s “Can Computers Think?” radio broadcasts

On the 15th of May 1951 the BBC broadcast a short lecture by the mathematician Alan Turing under the title Can Computers Think? This was a part of a series of lectures on the emerging science of computing which featured other pioneers of the time, including Douglas Hartree, Max Newman, Freddie Williams and Maurice Wilkes. Together they represented major new projects in computing at the Universities of Cambridge and Manchester. Unfortunately these recordings no longer exist, along with all other recordings of Alan Turing. So I decided to rerecord Turing’s lecture from his original script.

Persi Diaconis lecture: “The Magic of Martin Gardner”

The one and only Persi Diaconis is going to give a lecture on Martin Gardner at Queen Mary University of London next April. Exciting!

As part of the 2014 British Mathematical Colloquium, join Professor Persi Diaconis, mathematician and former professional magician to celebrate the centenary of the birth of Martin Gardner, with a lecture on the life, work and magic of this famous populariser of mathematics and science.

Martin Gardner brought mathematics to life for millions of people from homemakers to professional mathematicians. Professor Diaconis will try to explain what he did and how he did it. From Alice in Wonderland, Psychic exposures, bad poetry, the Game of Life, public key cryptography and a thousand other things, his clarity and curiosity are contagious. But, beware–as someone once wrote:

WARNING: Martin Gardner has turned dozens of innocent youngsters into math professors and thousands of math professors into innocent youngsters.

The hour-long lecture will take place at 18:30 on the 7th of April, 2014, in the Great Hall of QMUL’s People’s Palace.

More information

The Magic of Martin Gardner event page at QMUL.

via Ivan Tomasic on Twitter

Deligne Day: October 5, 2013

A bit of press release copy-pasting for you now, as the Simons Foundation announced a celebration of the mathematics of Pierre Deligne. When the release first went out it was called ‘Deligne Day’, but cooler heads have prevailed and it’s now “A Celebration of the Mathematics of Pierre Deligne”. It’s also my dad’s birthday, as it happens.

Maths-Art seminars at London Knowledge Lab

While looking around for more arty maths, I came across the Maths-Art Seminars at London Knowledge Lab. Running more-or-less monthly since 2007, the seminar has invited architects, poets, musicians, painters and of course mathematicians to explore the connections between “mathematics” and “art”.

Previous talks include such intriguing titles as “Parametric Design and Construction in the sculpture “Tall Tree and the Eye” by Chiara Tuffaneli“; “To Live: Building Geodesic Shelters from Estate Agent Boards“; “Some mathematics within? What actually goes on in some traditional textiles crafts?“; and “From Tristram Shandy to Bad Sex: Some uses of mathematics in fiction“.

There’s a YouTube channel containing recordings of talks, but it doesn’t seem to have been updated since 2011.

Talks happen on the second Thursday of the month, during term time. The next talk is on the 9th of May, at the Institute of Education, where Michael Bartholomew-Biggs will be talking about maths and poetry. It’s just a pity they’re in London, or I’d go every month!

More information

Maths-Art Seminars at London Knowledge Lab

BAMC 2013 public lecture: Applying Mathematics to Our Sun, by Eric Priest

In Leeds on Wednesday 10th April 2013 at 6pm, Professor Eric Priest will give a free public lecture at the British Applied Mathematics Colloquium 2013 titled ‘Applying Mathematics to Our Sun’.

Priest is a member of the St Andrews solar magnetohydrodynamics group, whose researchers “study the Sun using mathematical modelling techniques and observational data from satellites… or ground based observatories”.

More details:
‘Applying Mathematics to Our Sun’ poster;
‘Applying Mathematics to Our Sun’ details on conference schedule/Google calendar;
Wikipedia: Eric Priest.

via BAMC 2013 on Twitter