All talks are to be held in the Winstanley Lecture Theatre, Trinity College, and will begin at 8.30pm with port and orange juice from 8.15pm. With the exception of the first talk, which is open to all, talks are for members only; non-members may join at the door.

**Monday, 8th October: Dr Piers Bursill-Hall (DPMMS):**

**Why Mathmos Rule the World: Always Have, Always Will**

Bursill-Hall was educated – at least in some sense – in France, America, Canada, and England; most of his learning coming from dubious public houses in Devon and he ended up at Cambridge University, and has managed to avoid the workhouse or madhouse ever since. He has taught undergraduate courses in history of mathematics and most aspects of history of science at Cambridge and a few other places foolish enough to invite him to talk. It is not known where his ‘off’ button is, but chocolate usually shuts him up temporarily. He is currently 39 years old, and has been for many years. His research and teaching has concentrated on history of ancient, Renaissance, and Enlightenment science, mathematics and mathematical arts, the history of medicine and recently early Islamic science and its origins.

**Monday, 15th October: Prof. David Spiegelhalter (StatsLab):**

**Numeracy and the Media: is it a Lost Cause?**

I shall look at the portrayal of numbers in the news, with particular attention to risk stories of the ‘cats cause cancer’ variety, and the use of ghastly statistical graphics. After (with luck) getting some cheap laughs, I shall consider whether things are getting better or worse, and make a few tentative suggestions for how we all might help.

**Monday, 22nd October: Dr David Acheson (Oxford):**

**What’s the Problem with Maths?**

Why are so many people scared stiff of mathematics? Quite apart from anything else, the subject is full of wonderful surprises, and I will consider several of them, suitable for a wide spectrum of ages, and ranging from a piece of mathematical ‘conjuring’ to the question of whether mathematics can explain the legendary Indian Rope Trick.

**Monday, 29th October: Dr Julia Gog (DAMPT):**

**Why Biologists Need Mathmos**

It is impossible to think about physics without mathematics. What about biology? Here, Dr Gog will argue that the biologists need us mathematicians. The genome revolution has changed everything, and we are entering an amazing time. It does not matter if you think you are a pure or applied mathematician, there’s something going on here that you should keep an eye on…

**Monday, 5th November: Dr Kobi Kremnitzer (Oxford):**

**Factorization and QFT**

One of the basic ingredients of a quantum field theory (QFT) is an operator product expansion (OPE). I will explain what that is an how to formalize this notion in geometric terms using the Ran space (introduced in this context by Beilinson and Drinfeld). This leads to the theory of chiral algebras and factorization algebras.

**Monday, 12th November: Prof. Ben Green (DPMMS):**

**The Sylvester-Gallai Theorem**

The Sylvester-Gallai Theorem states that, given any set P of n points in the plane, not all on one line, there is a line passing through precisely two of them (and `ordinary line’). I will discuss the history of this theorem and a couple of proofs of it. After that I will hint at some more recent work which establishes that there must in fact be at least n/2 ordinary lines for all sufficiently large enough n. I’ll also discuss some examples of sets with few ordinary lines, which involve some quite interesting constructions involving elliptic curves. The talk will be accessible to Part IA students.

**Monday, 19th November: Prof. Hugh Osborn (DAMTP):**

**Pulling Oneself Up By One’s Bootstraps in Theoretical Physics**

Baron von Munchhausen escaped a swamp by pulling on his bootstraps. Sometimes it may be possible to derive results in physics or other areas from general principles with little apparent input. I will describe how such bootstrap methods were once all the rag,e then fell out of fashion, but may be enjoying a resurgence.

**Monday, 26th November:**

**Mathmo Call My Bluff**

Come and celebrate Christmas with the TMS’s annual Call My Bluff event. Watch a Freshers’ Team take on a team drawn from the combined might of the rest of the university in a competition in which mathematical knowledge takes a second place to the ability to hold a good poker face.