Surely nothing says Christmas like a maths lecture? Dr Hannah Fry is here to prove just that! The Royal Institution’s Christmas Lectures are always engaging and entertaining fun for the whole family. These eye-opening lectures have been recorded for television every year since 1966 (BBC Four these days) and are particularly aimed at inspiring children and young adults.
Started by Michael Faraday in 1825, the Christmas Lectures were an exciting new way to bring science to young people. He presented numerous lectures himself and since then they’ve been hosted by many famous scientists, including Sir David Attenborough, Carl Sagan and Dame Nancy Rothwell. This year is the turn of mathematician and TV and radio personality, Dr Hannah Fry.
This exclusive live screening of Dr Fry’s lecture will take place at the Science and Industry Museum. In this year’s series, entitled Secrets and lies: the hidden power of maths, she aims to reveal the ways in which maths, rules and patterns influence our daily lives in ways we could never imagine.
Dr Hannah Fry is an Associate Professor in the Mathematics of Cities at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at UCL. Her research applies to a wide range of social problems and questions. She started her path to household name status with her now famous 2014 TED Talk on The Mathematics of Love, in which she gave her top tips (backed up by statistical and data-scientific models!) for finding that special someone. The talk has amassed over 5 million views and she later published a popular book on the subject.
Earlier this year she published Hello World: How to be Human in the Age of the Machine, a thought provoking account of the software and algorithms that increasingly govern our lives. In this lecture, Hannah will look at why maths can fail and asks what the limits of maths are. Are there problems maths can’t or shouldn’t solve? And in an age where ‘fake news’ abounds and statistics can be twisted to prove anything, should we always trust in numbers?
The Science and Industry Museum will be the only venue to be screening this lecture, which will be recorded for broadcast on TV later in the year. It is recommended for children aged 11 years and over and is sure to get young minds excited about the potential applications of their maths homework.