The World of Mathematics
Mathematics, Music and Magic

The Age

MAV 2005 Free Public Lecture Series at Melbourne Museum.
Presented by The Mathematical Association of Victoria in association with The Age.

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. This year the series was especially interesting, with mathematical explorations of ideas as diverse as the Da Vinci Code" through to the tuning of harpsichords.

The details for the 2005 Lecture Series were:

VENUE: Melbourne MuseumThe Age Theatre, Melbourne Museum
Carlton Gardens, Carlton, Melbourne
Melway reference: 2B J10
COST: Free. Note: teachers attending the public lectures can also visit the rest of the museum free-of-charge
Bookings recommended. Register online.

Sunday, 31 July 2005
Quasimodo's Cipher

Time: 10.15am to 11.15am
Lecturer: Dr Burkard Polster

I thought to see the fairies in the fields, but I saw only the evil elephants with their black backs. Woe! How that sight awed me! The elves danced all around and about while I heard voices calling clearly....

Puzzled? Curious? Come and join in the chase for the key to this cipher message in the mathematical music of bells, learn about the ancient art of ringing the changes, and find out what all this has to do with juggling.

Sunday, 14 August 2005
The Da Vinci Code and other mathematical nonsense

Time: 10.15am to 11.15am
Lecturer: Dr Marty Ross

Marty in a Da Vinci drawingMathematics occasionally makes its way into popular culture, usually in a manner which is clumsy, cliched, or just plain silly. Sadly, the blockbuster The Da Vinci Code offers no exception. We shall examine the mathematics in The Da Vinci Code, and in other popular novels and movies, and we shall consider why the writers are so careless and how they get away with it. In keeping with the Museum's Egyptian theme, we'll also make mention of the wonders of pyramidology.


Sunday, 4 September 2005
The Mathematics of Magic and Miracles

Time: 10.15am to 11.15am
Lecturer: Dr Burkard Polster

Burkard PolsterIn this mathematical magic show, Melbournes favourite MatheMagician will entertain and amaze you with some real magic, let you in on the maths underlying some famous magic tricks, and give mathematical explanations for some of the most ancient and perplexing miracles.

Sunday, 9 October 2005
Strange harmonies: the mathematics of music

Time: 10.15am to 11.15am
Lecturer: Dr Marty Ross

The association of music and mathematics is over 2500 years old, dating (at least) to Pythagoras's beautiful theory of harmony. This theory, though very simple, leads almost immediately to intriguing and difficult questions. We shall consider some of the strange and brilliant ideas to which it has given birth: why it is impossible to tune a harpsichord; what harmony can tell you about the orbits of the planets; how you can try to hear the shape of a drum; and why Australians design better pianos.

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 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 is a mathematical nomad. After studying at ANU and Stanford University,
he returned to his home town of Melbourne, via Texas, Bendigo, and Tasmania. 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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