The World of Mathematics

The MAV 2004 Free Public Lecture Series at Melbourne Museum.
Presented by The Mathematical Association of Victoria.

Each year the MAV presents a series of lectures delivered by Drs Burkard Polster and Marty Ross examining mathematical issues in an accessible and entertaining way.

Read on to see what Burkard and Marty spoke about in 2004:

As seen on Schools Television News, hear why the MAV thinks these lectures are so interesting: Go to the Schools TV archive of news stories, select the news stories from 16 June, 2004 and then the clip featuring Simon Pryor. Start at


Sunday, 18 July 2004
Escher and Beyond: Art, Mathematics and Magic

Time: 1:00pm to 2:00pm
Lecturer: Dr Burkard Polster

Dr Burkard Polster. Where is the camera?The Dutch artist M.C. Escher is famous for his unique fusions of natural and mathematical beauty. Burkard gave a guided tour of Escher's magical world, and the audience marveled at some new parts of this world that even Escher himself did not know about.

Sunday, 25 July 2004
The Maths is Right! How to Win Game Shows

Time: 1:00pm to 2:00pm
Lecturer: Dr Marty Ross
  Knowledge and luck will always help on TV game shows, but so will mathematics! Marty showed how to dramatically increase your chances of taking home the big prizes.

Sunday, 29 August 2004
Numerology, by Amateurs and Professionals

Time: 1:00pm to 2:00pm
Lecturer: Dr Marty Ross

numerologyMathematics is the key to explaining how much of the World works. But at times we can get carried away, "seeing" patterns which aren't really there. Supermarket magazines often contain such silliness, but it is much more prevalent than that, and even experts can be fooled. Marty discussed how this happens and gave many examples, both silly and serious.

Saturday, 11 September 2004
Count Count and the Knotty Knots

Time: 11:00am to 12:00noon
Lecturer: Dr Burkard Polster

Your favourite mathematician Count Count described his thrilling adventures in the world of knots. The audience participated in some serious knot-spotting, learned to untangle Gordian knots, and found out why knots are the key to some of the deepest secrets of the universe.

About the Lecturers:

Drs Burkard Polster and Marty Ross entertain and educate budding and experienced mathematicians alike with their exciting brand of fun, information and, above all, ideas.

"These really are world class public lectures. And to make them work for such a diverse audience is a splendid achievement."
Dr Max Stephens, MAV Immediate Past President.

Burkard Polster
Burkard Polster is a Logan Research Fellow, and Monash University's resident mathematical juggler, origami expert, bubble-master, shoelace charmer, and Count Count impersonator. When he is not doing fun mathematics he has fun investigating perfect mathematical universes..
Marty Ross
Marty Ross is a mathematical nomad. After studying at ANU and Stanford University,
he returned to his home town of Melbourne, via Texas, Bendigo, and Tasmania. He is currently teaching a course on the nature of mathematics for Akademos. His research is in geometric analysis (the use of geometry to study naturally occurring phenomena), but he spends a lot of time thinking up jokes to slip into lectures.




For further information contact: Simon Pryor

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