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The School of Mathematics welcomed Prof Robin Wilson to Birmingham on January 18 January to give a Popular Maths Lecture on the Story of π. His lecture covered the entire history of π, from the ancient Egyptians and Mesopotamians, via Archimedes, China and the Middle Ages, to the Indiana court case and the advances of the modern computer age.

The lecture was extremely popular and was attended by 200 people, including many local sixth form students, alumni, and current staff and students. The Birmingham Popular Mathematics Lecture series is designed to be suitable for students who are studying mathematics A Level and it was a delight to see so many of them there that evening, including staff and students from Park Hall Academy who had their photo taken with Robin afterwards.

Photo: Professor Robin Wilson and students from Park Hall Academy


Robin is an Emeritus Professor of Pure Mathematics at the Open University and Emeritus Professor of Geometry at Gresham College, London. Aside from his research into graph theory, one of Robin’s passions is the history of mathematics, and he has written and edited many books on the subject including Lewis Carroll in Numberland.

Birmingham Popular Mathematics Lectures are held once a month between September and March on Wednesdays at 19.30 in the Watson Building.  The lectures are free and there is no need to register for groups of under 10 people, all members of the public and the University are welcome to attend. Contact for further information.