Press Release – Victoria University of Wellington
The author of numerous books which have popularised mathematics to general audiences around the world will give a public lecture at Victoria University in early October.
The talk by Professor Ian Stewart, Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at the University of Warwick, is titled Equations that Changed the World and will reveal the extent to which civilisation depends, and has depended, on a small number of important mathematical equations.
Professor Stewart is one of the world’s best-loved writers on maths, having published more than 80 titles.
This includes books such as Does God Play Dice, an exploration of chaos theory, a range of books on mathematical puzzles, curiosities and conundrums, the number one best seller 17 Equations That Changed the World, and collaborations with the science-fiction writers Terry Pratchett and Jack Cohen.
He has won many awards for furthering the public’s understanding of science including, in 2008, the Zeeman Medal of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications and the London Mathematical Society, the first medal specifically given to a mathematician in the United Kingdom for promoting maths to the public.
Professor Stewart’s Wellington lecture, at 5.30pm on Friday 4 October, will highlight how we rely on equations every day, when using things like mobile phones, the internet, electronic car navigation systems and digital cameras.
Despite being about equations, Professor Stewart says the audience will not need technical knowledge and the lecture will use plenty of pictures.
In 1997, Professor Stewart held the prestigious Forder Lectureship, an arrangement between the London and New Zealand Mathematical Societies under which a prominent United Kingdom mathematician tours New Zealand, giving lectures at major universities, including Victoria. Professor Stewart has also made a number of private visits to New Zealand in recent years.
In addition to giving a public lecture, he will be attending, and speaking at, the New Zealand Association of Mathematics Teachers conference in Wellington.