London Mathematical Society 150th Anniversary Launch

Friday 16th January, 2015
Goldsmiths' Hall, Foster Lane, London, EC2V 6BN

The London Mathematical Society's 150th Anniversary Launch was held on the 16 January 2015 at Goldsmiths’ Hall, London, which has an appropriate historical link as it is the venue in which the Society held its Centenary Dinner in 1965. The aim of the event was to introduce the year of celebrations, to recognise and promote 150 years of the Society, and to highlight the historical and continuing value and prevalence of mathematics to society and in day-to-day life – from entertainment to everyday objects, linking this to the actual underlying mathematics. The event illustrated that mathematics is for everyone and that everybody uses it, whether consciously or not.

The impressive line-up of speakers included:  

Professor Terry Lyons, FRS, University of Oxford, President of the LMS

Steve Thompson, Playwright and Screenwriter

Professor Robert Calderbank, Duke University, USA

Professor Nigel Hitchin, FRS, University of Oxford, Past President of the LMS

James Reid, Head of Visual Effects, Milk Visual Effects

Robert Pieké, Research Lead, Moving Picture Company

Professor Andrew Blake, FRS, Head of Microsoft Research, Cambridge

Professor Dame Frances Kirwan, FRS, University of Oxford, Past President of the LMS

With link presenter Maggie Philbin, Television Presenter

The talks showcased the exciting ways in which mathematics touches so many parts of our daily lives and were given by mathematicians and professional users of mathematics at the cutting-edge of their research areas, whose successes have contributed to, amongst other things, machine learning for human motion capture (particularly in Microsoft's Xbox KINECT motion sensor), linking signals to masts which enables the use of mobile phones, and the mathematics in the making of TV classics such as Dr Who and Sherlock and blockbuster films including Harry Potter and the Life of Pi.

The event aimed to reach the widest possible audience. Over three hundred people including many member mathematicians, distinguished guests and schools were invited to Goldsmiths’ Hall. Invitations to join in via the live-streamed link were also issued to over 5,000 secondary schools and sixth form colleges around the UK. Those not able to join in on the day are able to view the recorded talks online via the LMS Microsite.