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The Secret Mathematicians. Hirzebruch lecture by Marcus du Sautoy

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Marcus du Sautoy
University of Oxford
Mon, 22/10/2012 - 18:00 - 19:00
University Club Bonn

From composers to painters, writers to choreographers, the mathematician’s palette of shapes, patterns and numbers has proved a powerful inspiration. Often subconsciously artists are drawn to the same structures that fascinate mathematicians as they constantly hunt for interesting new structures to frame their creative process. Through the work of artists like Borges and Dali, Messiaen and Laban, Professor du Sautoy will explore the hidden mathematical ideas that underpin their creative output and reveal that the work of the mathematician is also driven by strong aesthetic values.

Marcus du Sautoy is the Charles Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science and Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of New College. In 2001 he won the prestigious Berwick Prize of the London Mathematical Society awarded every two years to reward the best mathematical research made by a mathematician under 40. In 2004 Esquire Magazine chose him as one of the 100 most influential people under 40 in Britain and in 2008 he was included in the prestigious directory Who’s Who. In 2009 he was awarded the Royal Society’s Faraday Prize, the UK’s premier award for excellence in communicating science.

He is author of numerous academic articles and books on mathematics. He has been a visiting Professor at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in Bonn, the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the Australian National University in Canberra.

Marcus du Sautoy is author of the best-selling popular mathematics book "The Music of the Primes" published by Fourth Estate in 2003 and translated into 10 languages. It has won two major prizes in Italy and Germany for the best popular science book of the year. Marcus du Sautoy writes for the Times, Daily Telegraph, Independent and the Guardian and is frequently asked for comment on BBC radio and television. For several years he had a regular column in the Times called Sexy Science. He was presenter of BBC4’s TV game show Mind Games, for which he was nominated for the Royal Society of Television’s Best Newcomer to a Network award. He has written and presented several series for radio including: 5 Shapes for BBC radio 4 in 2004 and Maths and Music for the Essay on BBC radio 3 in 2007 and The Baroque: from ecstasy to infinity for BBC radio 3 in 2009. In 2010 he wrote and presented a ten part series for BBC Radio 4 called A Short History of Mathematics.

The Hirzebruch Lecture is an annual one hour lecture for a general academic audience featuring a prominent speaker, which aims at illustrating the relation between mathematics and other fields like society, art, etc. It has been established on the occasion of Prof. Friedrich Hirzebruch's 80th birthday in 2007 and is organized by MPIM in collaboration with the University Club and the Hausdorff Center for Mathematics in Bonn. It is followed by a reception.

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