Bringing Mathematics to a Wider Audience

I enjoy and have experience of outreach work in many different forms. Bringing mathematics to a wider audience is the aspect of my work that I consider the most important. Mathematics is not just about numbers and equations, and it is not the thing that so many people remember with horror from their school days. Mathematics is about understanding how things work, learning how to use our brains more logically, and illuminating our logical thought processes. Mathematics is more creative and elastic than is many people think, and is connected to all aspects of life, not just calculating the tip at a restaurant or doing taxes. I strongly believe that mathematics is something you can appreciate even if you can’t create it yourself, like art, music, and food. But I also believe that it’s something everyong can join in playing with, and that this demystifies it and makes it much more fun and interesting.

The outreach work I do includes but is not restricted to the following:
  • Large scale public lectures aimed at a wide audience of non-specialists including children, to show that mathematics is not just about numbers and equations, and is fun and relevant to everyone. These are often hosted by universities, schools, museums or other public venues.
  • Hands-on workshops with mathematical activities. I have run workshops for all ages from 7 upwards. These are often hosted by schools, outreach programs or math fairs. Workshops for teenagers are often hosted by universities.
  • General math presentations for schools and universities. These are usually shorter than the public talks. I have presentations aimed at all age groups from 5 to 17, and also talks for mathematics undergraduates and science undergraduates.
  • Professional development workshops for teachers. I have developed many short, self-contained project-based learning activities suitable for middle school and high school students.
  • Women in mathematics and STEM. I was previously reluctant but am now keen to talk about the issue of under-representation of women in mathematics and other STEM subjects. I enjoy running informal discussion sessions on this topic, or giving motivational talks about my experiences.
  • Radio, television and newspaper interviews. I have extensive media experience and training from the BBC Academy. I am happy to discuss or comment on most aspects of mathematics, universities, education, gender and cultural issues.  For more information including sample video and audio and clips, please click here.
  • Art: my first pieces of commissioned artwork were for Hotel EMC2 in Chicago. The mathematical art installed in 2017. My next commission was from 6018 North as part of the Living Archiecture installation, and moves to the Lubeznik Center in Michigan City in 2019. For more information click here.

If you are interested in booking me for an event, or commissioning an article or artwork please use the contact form.

Here is a sample of some of my current and past outreach projects.
  • Summer math camp for high school students: I launched this two week summer camp on category theory in 2018, hosted by Math Circles of Chicago at Jones College Prep.
  • GEMS: Girls Engaged in Mathematics and Science, a mentoring scheme at Jones College Prep
  • Public talks at museums, bookstores, festivals: including the National Museum of Mathematics (New York), the Science Gallery Dublin (Ireland), the Smithsonian (Washington DC), Genova Science Festival (Italy), Chicago Ideas Week, TEDx Vienna, Mathsweek Ireland.
  • Motivational talks: I have given motivational talks for girls or all students considering STEM careers, including at Oakton Community College (“Futures Unlimited”), the Unversity of Chicago (“Expand Your Horizons”), the College of DuPage (STEM-CON), the London Mathematical Society (“Women in Mathematics”)
  • Professional development for teachers: I have run professional development for teachers of all levels including at Westborough Primary School, Francis Parker School, and for the New York Department of Education.
  • Hands-on workshops: I have run hands-on mathematics workshops for children of all ages, including at the Mind Research Mathematics Fair , Arizona State University Math Day , and for Math Circles of Chicago
  • Presentations in schools: I have given general assembly-type presentations for schoolchildren of all ages, including at Francis Parker School and William Fremd High School.  A list of possible topics is here.
  • Sheffield Mathematics Academy: I founded a scheme for high school/secondary school students to have regular mathematics enrichment at the University of Sheffield, and then optionally go on to take an undergraduate course while still at school.
  • Helping in elementary/primary schools: From 1999 to 2004 I volunteered at Park Street Primary School in Cambridge to help with mathematics, and from 2007-2012 at Hillsborough Primary School in Sheffield.

Talks for different ages

Ages 5-8

My favorite number

Ages 8-18

Mathematics made tasty
My life in graphs
Mathematics and music
Mathematics is everywhere

Undergraduates in Science/Math

Logic vs Illogic

General public

Mathematics made tasty
Mathematics and music