Mathscon: reshaping the world’s perception of mathematics

Introducing Mathscon, a mathematics conference with a difference!


Bertrand Russel once said that “mathematics possesses not only truth, but also supreme beauty.” Anyone who is passionate about mathematics knows that this beauty lies in concepts, not calculations. Yet somewhere along the line we have ended up with a reputation for just number crunching! Introducing Mathscon: the organisation with a mission to reshape the world’s perception of mathematics.

What goes on at Mathscon?

Simon Singh at Mathscon 2018.

Speakers at the last event included some real gems from the world of mathematics and its related areas: Nira Chamberlain—one of the vice-presidents of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, and listed by the Science Council as ‘one of the UK’s top 100 Scientists’; Katie Steckles—who has become one of the most influential female mathematics communicators through her talks in schools, festivals, on BBC Radio and her appearances on the YouTube channel Numberphile; and the multiple-award-holding science author and science journalist: Simon Singh!

The conference also included the following panel discussions: firstly “Is God a mathematician?” and a second one titled “Do parallel universes exist?” Both were thought-provoking, vital topics within the science community. Each panel enlightened the audience, and had some of the most eminent speakers related to the topics such as James Baggot, author of Higgs: The invention and discovery of the ‘God particle’ and Carlo Contaldi, a professor at Imperial College who’s work includes the distribution of galaxies, dark matter, and cosmic microwave background radiation.

Workshops at Mathscon 2018 included one on mathematics and chess.

Our choice of workshops offered our delegates the chance to see some of the coolest applications of mathematics. Some of our workshop topics included augmented reality; mathematics and medicine; and mathematics and chess, led by an international chess competitor Dagnė Čiukšytė and chess grandmaster and three-time world champion John Nunn.

This year’s Mathscon

The upcoming edition of Mathscon is the most exciting one yet! This year, Mathscon will be hosting smaller-scale events throughout November at UCL, Warwick and Bath (keep an eye out on our Facebook page to sign up) along with our main event in February at Imperial College London consisting of: a daytime conference packed with inspiring speakers, thought-provoking panel discussions about influential mathematicians, and whether we can ever finish understanding mathematics; exciting workshops and an evening networking event. We are passionate about encouraging and showcasing a love of mathematics amongst students, which is why our main event will also have an additional section for student talks. Here, selected students will be invited to give a ten minute presentation on their research, or an area of mathematics that they are passionate about. (Please contact us via email or Facebook to apply. Applications will be taken on a rolling basis.)

Furthermore, starting from the 2018 conference, Mathscon has introduced the Mathscon grant! This is a grant available to any mathematics enthusiast who can show how they are contributing to the mathematical community in an exciting or original way. The winner of the grant will receive £1000 from Mathscon to support them in their mathematical studies. We are looking to support people who not only share an appreciation for mathematics, but also use the subject to be innovative and make a difference. Think this could be you? Head to the ‘Grant Application’ tab of the Mathscon website for details on how to apply (from December)!

Nira Chamberlain with the Mathscon committee

We are pleased to invite you to the upcoming edition of Mathscon which will take place on Saturday 23 February at Imperial College London. Early bird ticket sales for the conference will be released in December, so be sure to keep an eye out! To stay updated, you can find Mathscon on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (links below). For more information about our previous events and speakers please visit our website.

Mathscon is an organisation with a mission to change the way that mathematics is perceived.

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