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Maths into pictures, thirty years on

Alan Davies celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Ri Maths Masterclasses by illustrating how some quite advanced mathematical ideas can be presented to a young audience.

On New Year’s Eve 1978 Prof Christopher Zeeman presented the sixth and final Christmas Lecture in the series entitled Maths into pictures. The lectures were a phenomenal success and led to the development of a series of masterclasses for young people at the Ri. Prof John Crank chaired the development committee and the first series was planned and went ahead in January 1981 with lectures given by Christopher Zeeman, John Crank and Shaun Wylie. It could not have been known to those three just what they had started; new groups formed outside the Ri and the number of series has steadily increased across the country to about sixty secondary and forty primary groups in 2010. So, what is the secret of the success, how have masterclasses developed over the years and what has been their impact?
Prof Alan Davies will address these and other questions during this FED. In particular, in the spirit of the masterclasses, he will take a variety of topics presented by different lecturers and illustrate how some quite advanced mathematical ideas can be presented to a young audience.


Prof Alan Davies | talks


Date and Time:

28 January 2011 at 8:00 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



The Royal Institution of Great Britain
21 Albemarle Street
+44 20 74 09 29 92

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free to Ri Full Members, £10 Associate Members and £15 guests

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