In conversation with Hannah Fry

Hannah Fry is a lecturer at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) at UCL. In addition to her research on the mathematics of social systems, Hannah also does a lot of public engagement – showing the general public some of the fascinating ways that Maths can be used in the real world. She’s given TED talks, spoken on TV and radio, made YouTube videos, and performed in science stand-up and stage shows. Most recently, she has written a book called The Mathematics of Love, and presented the BBC documentary Climate Change by Numbers.

Maths and the Real World

Would you like to tell our readers a bit about your mathematical background?

I did my undergraduate degree in Maths here at UCL and I much preferred the applied side. I then did my PhD in fluid dynamics with Prof. Frank Smith, doing lots of lovely asymptotic analysis. My postdoc was a bit different. I think fluids is a really great place to train, but it’s hard to find a really good postdoc in fluids, and you can’t pick the subject that you want to work on. So this postdoc came up using mathematics to look at social systems – things like trade, migration and security. And I just thought it was an interesting topic and came over here to CASA, and I’ve been here ever since!

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