Regular readers of The Aperiodical will not be surprised to hear that Hannah Fry is up to something exciting, but you will likely still be surprised by the sheer number of exciting things which Hannah Fry is currently doing. But this is why we are here after all, so here is your breaking FryDay news, hot off the presses.
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The programme for this year’s Cheltenham Science Festival has now been released, and tickets go on sale to members today (general booking opens next Wednesday). We asked Cheltenham local and science festival regular Martin Whitworth to send us his pick of the events for the mathematically inclined.
Festival season will soon be upon us. In a recently announced programme of over 200 events, the 2019 Cheltenham Science Festival includes many that will be of interest to the mathematically-minded, including events by maths presenters Marcus Du Sautoy, Ian Stewart, Matt Parker, Katie Steckles, Zoe Griffiths, Ben Sparks, Kyle D Evans and Hannah Fry.
The ubiquitous Fry is on our screens again, with a programme about Platonism, on BBC Four.
In Magic Numbers: Hannah Fry’s Mysterious World of Maths, “Dr Hannah Fry explores the mystery of maths. Is it invented like a language or is it discovered and part of the fabric of the universe?”
Episode 1 is on the iPlayer for about three more weeks, and episode 2 of 3 is on tonight at 21:00.
This week Radio 4 has chosen Hannah Fry’s new book Hello World as its Book of the Week. This means excerpts from the book are read out each day, and you can listen along on iPlayer Radio.
To find out what the book’s like, read this review by Colin Beveridge.
MATHS FANS! A rare treat for you. Tomorrow night, BBC4 will show The Joy of Winning – an hour long proper proper maths doc packed to the brim with glorious game theory. I think it might just be my favourite thing I've ever done for telly. pic.twitter.com/Xx09Wowwzz
— Hannah Fry (@FryRsquared) August 27, 2018
Hannah Fry presents a new one-off BBC4 documentary about game theory (reading the description, it sounds more classic than combinatorial), which the BBC4 website describes as a “gleefully nerdy adventure”. Should be fun!
This is tomorrow, 28th August 2018 at 9pm on BBC4 and on iPlayer after.
Update: iPlayer link to The Joy Of Winning.
TV maths legend and UCL-based mathematician Hannah Fry has been awarded this year’s IMA/LMS Christopher Zeeman Medal, which aims to recognise and acknowledge the contributions of mathematicians involved in promoting mathematics to the public and engaging with the public in mathematics in the UK.
Named after the late Professor Sir Christopher Zeeman FRS, whose Royal Institution Christmas Lectures on mathematics in 1978 were a shining example and led to the development of their mathematics and engineering Masterclass programme, the medal will be awarded at a ceremony to take place in 2019, where Dr Fry will also give a lecture.
From the official announcement/citation:
Hannah Fry’s dedication in promoting mathematics to the widest possible public has not only done untold good for the subject, but has provided a powerful role model for mathematicians, most especially female ones, making mathematics feel more relevant, more humorous and most of all more human. Her spectacular success in an otherwise notoriously difficult endeavour may be ascribed to a unique and enviable set of characteristics. First, she has an uncanny instinct for spotting mathematics that will readily engage the public, and then of constructing the perfect context and using it to convey profound mathematical ideas that might otherwise appear dry. Second, she is effortlessly able to transcend audience boundaries and make mathematics both accessible and “cool” to an enormous range of hard-to-convince onlookers. Finally, Hannah has a tremendous capacity for her sheer hard work: the breadth and range of activities that she undertakes, the number of separate media appearances to which she commits, and the widely disparate audiences and age groups that she is able to reach are all eloquent testament to her ability and commitment. Perhaps her most significant achievement is to have inspired a generation of girls in a way that has not been done before.
Hannah Fry awarded 2018 Zeeman Medal, on the LMS website
More information about the Christopher Zeeman Medal award, on the LMS website
Medal citation (PDF)
Announcing our 2018 #scibooks prize shortlist. Celebrating outstanding popular science books from around the world @InsightInvestIM https://t.co/dhlFsCQLNx pic.twitter.com/oCURZRAFXr
— The Royal Society (@royalsociety) August 2, 2018
The 2018 Royal Society Insight Investment Science Book Prize has announced its shortlist:
- Inventing Ourselves: The Secret Life of the Teenage Brain by Sarah-Jayne Blakemore;
- The Unexpected Truth About Animals: Stoned Sloths, Lovelorn Hippos and Other Wild Tales by Lucy Cooke;
- The Beautiful Cure: Harnessing Your Body’s Natural Defences by Daniel Davis;
- Hello World: How to be Human in the Age of the Machine by Hannah Fry;
- Liquid: The Delightful and Dangerous Substances That Flow Through Our Lives by Mark Miodownik;
- Exactly: How Precision Engineers Created The Modern World by Simon Winchester.
For the mathematically-minded, the highlight of the list is probably Hannah Fry’s upcoming Hello World: How to be Human in the Age of the Machine, published next month. Certainly the news has Hannah excited! An extract entitled ‘Can crime be predicted by an algorithm?‘ has been released by the publisher, Penguin.
The prize is judged by a panel of expert judges. A page about the prize says that “the winner will be announced at the award ceremony, taking place on Monday 1 October presented by Professor Brian Cox. The ceremony is open to the public and free to attend.” Though, curiously, the Royal Society website public events page has no listings for 1st October at present.