Marcus du Sautoy is the current and second holder of the Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. A natural communicator, he is especially passionate when it comes to popularising maths – showing how it affects every aspect of our lives from simple counting to any form of trade, and even the homes in which we live.
Marcus is a frequent contributor to The Times, The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph and is regularly a guest speaker on Radio 4’s In Our Time. His TV appearances include presenting the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures in 2006 and presenting films for BBC’s Horizon. He has also written numerous academic articles and popular books on mathematics, including the bestseller The Music of the Primes, which was also televised on BBC Four in 2005. His latest book The Number Mysteries was published in March 2011. His latest televisions series, The Secret Rules of Modern Living: Algorithms (BBC Four) was broadcast in 2015, seeking to demystify the hidden world of algorithms.
In 2001, Marcus was winner of the Berwick Prize of the London Mathematical Society for his achievements and contributions to Mathematics. In the 2010 New Year Honours, he was appointed an OBE. In 2012 he became a fellow of the American Mathematical Society and in 2016 a Fellow of the Royal Society.
In his presentations, Marcus explains how mathematicians supplied the codes on which the world now relies for internet transactions or sending confidential data. How secure are these codes? Can we make them uncrackable? With film clips and animation, Marcus offers a compelling insight into the science of cryptography.
In another he shows that maths is in effect the science of pattern searching, and a powerful tool to help predict what is likely to happen in the future. It provides the language and the models to enable companies to analyse ever larger amounts of data, to pick out trends or detect fraudulent activity; but Marcus also demonstrates how these patterns can remain hidden until you look at things in a new way – and why lateral thinking is so important.
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