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Maths at the British Science Festival 2016


Next week, the British Science Festival will take place in Swansea, in and around the University. Here’s our round-up of all the mathsiest of the maths events taking place during the week. Our own Katie Steckles will be there introducing most of these events, so you might spot her at the front telling you what to do if there’s a fire. You’ll need to register to book tickets, but all the events are free.

Adventures in the 7th dimension

Tue 6th September, 14:00 – 15:00
Lecture Theatre K, Faraday Building
Suitable for 16+

In 7 dimensions there exist special shapes that may give us the tools to unlock the mysteries of the universe. Looking for this unique geometry is challenging but a possible solution takes inspiration from nature: specifically, bubbles and thermodynamics. Jason Lotay takes us on a mathematical journey across multiple dimensions, whilst exploring their role in art, science and popular culture.

Impressive cumulonumbersPredicting the unpredictable?

Wed 7th September, 12:00 – 13:00
Lecture Theatre B, Glyndwr Building
Organised by Swansea University; Suitable for 16+

How can we attempt to predict earthquakes, financial crashes and acts of terrorism? Such events can often seem random but researchers can unpick the underlying complexity using probability models known as Hawkes processes. Join Alan Hawkes himself and his collaborator Maggie Chen to discover the wide-ranging applications of these mathematical models.

Rosalind Franklin Award Lecture – The calculus of contagion

Wed 7th September, 12:00 – 13:00
Taliesin Theatre, Taliesin Arts Centre
Suitable for 16+

One of the tools in the disease-fighter’s arsenal is mathematics. How can we measure disease spread? How can a few key people shape an outbreak? Which infections are hardest to control? Adam Kucharski shares his experience working to understand new disease threats, from Ebola to pandemic flu.

Mathematical Sciences Section Presidential Lecture – Post-modern cryptography: the unbreakable code?

Wed 7th September, 16:00 – 17:00
Lecture Theatre, Wallace Building
Suitable for 16+

Cryptography is the cornerstone of our online security, protecting our email messages, credit card information and medical records. Join mathematician and Advisor to GCHQ Richard Pinch to explore security and privacy in an increasingly connected world and find out how new technologies such as quantum computing could threaten our cyber-security.

The Presidential Lecture will be followed by a drinks reception at 17.00 on the Wallace Landing.

You've got red on youCan maths solve sepsis?

Thu 8th September, 12:00 – 13:00
Lecture Theatre M, Faraday Building
Suitable for 16+

Sepsis, also known as blood poisoning, kills 40,000 people in the UK each year. Many of those lives could be saved through early diagnosis and treatment. Meet a mathematician and physiologist working together to detect the early stages of sepsis and hear how mathematical methods can help address important health issues.

The festival will be followed by a weekend of activities for children and families, including:

The Mathematics Circus

Activities for children and families (Swansea University/ FMSP Wales) Gadgets & Gizmos section, National Waterfront Museum, 10-11th September.

A circus of mathematical activities, games and exhibits, accessible to all ages and designed to take you on a tour of the world of mathematics from the practical to the highly abstract. Mathematics is the language of science and we will show you how mathematical research is pushing forward the frontiers of biology, computing, engineering, medicine, physics and more.

Check the Festival website at for the full programme.



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