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Maths events at the Manchester Science Festival


In our traditional mode of picking apart the programmes of upcoming science festivals to make sure they’re doing their maths homework, here’s a round-up of the mathematicial goodies on offer at the upcoming Manchester Science Festival, running from 22nd October – 1st November at venues across Manchester.


Tuesday 27th October, SandBar, Grosvenor Street
7pm onwards, free

Manchester MathsJam are running an extra night of mathematical pub-based entertainment, in addition to their regular monthly one. There’ll be lightning maths talks, like the MathsJam conference, and sitting around in a pub doing puzzles, like the monthly MathsJams. Something for everyone! Who likes maths. In a pub.

Alan Turing’s ManchesterAlan_Turings_Manchester_IMAGE_main_credit_link

Saturday 24th October, Manchester Museum reception, Oxford Road
11am-12.30pm, £8

As part of a programme of several different walking tours around the city, New Manchester Walks are offering a tour of Alan’s favourite haunts.

We’re Stuck!Were_Stuck_IMAGE_gallery

Wednesday 28th and Friday 30th October, Z-Arts, Stretford Road
10.30am and 11.45am, free (booking required)

The team at educational charity Maths on Toast, who’ve been involved in developing mathematical theatre and workshops around the idea of problem solving, and how it’s ok to be stuck sometimes, offer a set of fun-sounding problem solving workshops aimed at 5+, which I’m assured may contain giant robots.

PI: More Than Just a Numberbig_data

Wednesday 28th October, Power Hall at Museum of Science and Industry
10.30am-4pm, free

Disappointingly nothing to do with the constant π, the museum’s Platform For Investigation (PI) offers activities and a chance to meet researchers on a different topic each day throughout the festival. On the 28th, the topic is big data, in particular regarding health data and whether you’re happy to share it.

Festival of the Spoken Nerd: Just For GraphsFOTSN_IMAGE_main_Credit_Idil_Sukan_and_Draw_HQ

Sunday 25th October, The Lowry, Salford Quays
8pm-10.15pm, tickets £18 (£16)

One third mathematician, two thirds maths sympathising physicists – everyone’s favourite science comedy trio are on tour with their latest creation, which is a celebration of graphs, charts, plots and diagrams, only some of which are on fire. Well worth a look.

After School Science Clubindexheadpic

Friday 30th October, JUMP IN! at Museum of Science and Industry
7pm-9.30pm, tickets £8.50

Alongside other sciences, maths will be represented at this ridiculous evening of talks, table-to-table demos, puzzles, a bar, and a ball pool – yes, this year, the science festival has its own ball pool, just for adults, and the event will take place in and around it. Watch out for the maths of sphere packing, actual balls and a little quantum mechanics. There’s more info on the After School Science Club website.

Ada Ada AdaAda_Ada_Ada_IMAGE_main

Friday 30th October, The Lowry, Salford Quays
8pm-9pm, tickets £12 (£10)

Widely regarded as the first programmer, Ada Lovelace was a mathematician who worked on Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine and created an algorithm for generating the Bernoulli numbers. This interactive show includes a dress containing thousands of LEDs, and will be followed by a panel discussion including women working in technology.

The rest of the festival

Thursday 22nd October – Sunday 1st November

Otherwise, there’s only the usual background level of maths involved in all science, and whatever you bring along yourself. Overall, we give it a 7/10: could do better, #MSF15.

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