In which I recall, via neurologist Oliver Sacks, some musings of Sylvester from 1877 on the limitlessness of mathematics.
In September 2018 I gave a talk on the life and mathematics of Maryam Mirzakhani in the School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences colloquium at NTU in Singapore.
It’s always nice, intellectually, when two apparently unrelated areas collide. I had an experience of this sort recently with an area of mathematics — one very familiar to me — and an ostensibly completely distinct area of science.
The recent passing of Maryam Mirzakhani came as a shock to many of us in the world of mathematics. Together with Norman Do, we attempt to share something about Mirzakhani’s work.
The Australian Mathematical Society Annual Meeting this year included a public debate on the topic “Is the traditional mathematics blackboard lecture dead?” I was on the affirmative team.
In November 2017 I gave a talk to the Monash Consciousness Research Laboratory (Tsuchiya Lab). I talked about some pure mathematical ideas that have appeared in the literature on the frontiers of neuroscience and the study of consciousness — gauge theory, and category theory.
An appearance in Sciencey, a new series from ABC that delivers quick, illuminating answers to some of the strangest questions in the universe. Why do earphones always tangle, and what does this tells us about the universe?
I’ll tell you about some extremely clever methods to tell graphs and knots apart, involving polynomials: the Tutte and HOMFLY polynomials. And they’re closely related.
In August 2017 I gave a talk on some of the mathematics of Maryam Mirzakhani, the great Iranian mathematician, first female Fields Medallist. This was a Monash LunchMaths seminar.
I gave an outreach talk to secondary students at PLC about mathematics and mathematicians, talking about, among other things, topology, Maryam Mirzakhani, and billiards, in July 2017. Slides are available.