Popular Lecture (London)

Thursday 25th June, 2015
UCL Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London, WC1H 0AL

The 2015 Popular Lectures

The London Mathematical Society Popular Lectures present exciting topics in mathematics (and its applications) to a wide audience. In 2015 the LMS Popular Lectures will feature four lecturers who have been chosen for their mathematical distinction and communication skills. The Society aims to present a wide range of mathematical topics in the lectures, which are suitable for all who have an interest in mathematics.

In addition to the lecture in London, this year the Society will host Popular Lectures in Birmingham, Leeds and Glasgow.

The 2015 LMS London Popular Lecture has already taken place at the Institute of Education. The speakers were Professor Martin Hairer and Dr Ruth King.


Professor Martin Hairer, FRS Regius Professor of Mathematics, University of Warwick

'The mathematics of randomness'

From the gambling machines in a Casino to the predictions of next week's weather, the world that surrounds us is governed by seemingly random events. How do mathematicians make sense of this and what does it even mean to "predict" something inherently random? We will explore these questions and see what are the main guiding principles of our modern understanding of randomness.

Along the way, we will see how the works of an 18th century egyptologist and a 19th century biologist allow today's banks to model the stock market.

Dr Ruth King, Reader in Statistics, University of St Andrews (from 1st September, the Thomas Bayes Chair of Statistics at the University of Edinburgh)

'Epidemics and viruses: the mathematics of disease'

The question of “How many...?” arises in many different fields. However, for many applications, it is not possible to simply count the members of the population of interest. For such cases, I will discuss mathematical tools that can be applied to provide an estimate of the total population size. Applications range from the number of webpages on the Internet on a given topic or the number of bugs in a computer code to the number of drug addicts or animals in a given area.


Registration for the LMS London Popular Lectures has now closed.

Popular Lectures Mailing List

If you would like to be included on the Popular Lectures mailing list, please email education@lms.ac.uk