*Speaker:***Prof Terence Tao ** (UCLA Dept of Mathematics)*Venue: *Winstanley Lecture Theatre *Time: ***24/01/2011 20:30**, drinks from **20:00**

It is a remarkable phenomenon in nature and in mathematics that the statistical behaviour of large complex systems are often governed by _universal laws_ that, miraculously, are almost completely independent of the microscopic mechanics of such systems. Well known examples of such universal laws include the laws of thermodynamics, Benford’s law, and the central limit theorem; the zeroes of the zeta function are also conjectured to be governed by another universal law arising from random matrix theory. We will survey some of these laws, including some recent theoretical developments by several authors (including the speaker) that have rigorously established universality for some random matrix models.