‘Does Maths Count?’ – Café Science event on 26th January

Mathematics is not just a way of torturing school pupils but rather has real-world applications that help to address some of the most fundamental challenges facing mankind today.

That’s the view of the University of Dundee’s Dr Fordyce Davidson, who will lead the next Café Science event on Monday, 26th January. ‘Does Maths Count?’ will see Dr Davidson explain to the audience the subject’s relevance, importance and potential.

“The powerful tools of mathematics can be used to pull apart complicated problems by breaking them down into their key components and deciding what has to be included and what can be left out,” he said. “Working out how these components interact is usually the hard part, though.

"Using these tools, we can begin to better understand a whole range of seemingly unrelated problems, such as how diseases spread within a population, how to produce clean energy more efficiently or how to design crops that can withstand rapid climatic changes.”

Dr Davidson is Head of the Division of Mathematics at the University and has a long-standing interest in public engagement with research. This has seen him take to the stage to perform stand-up comedy as part of the Bright Club initiative that seeks to encourage academics to discover new ways of communicating their work.

He is also an instructor for Dundee’s iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine) team. iGEM challenges students to use a kit of biological parts to build biological systems and operate them in living cells at laboratories in their own universities and the University’s teams have won European and World accolades in each of the past two years.

Café Science was launched in January 2008, and has attracted around 6000 visitors since then. The monthly events are informal discussions led by leading local researchers that allow members of the public the opportunity to learn more about the ground-breaking science at the Universities of Dundee, St Andrews and Abertay, the James Hutton Institute, and Dundee Science Centre.

‘Does Maths Count?’ takes place at Avery & Co, South Tay Street, at 7pm on Monday, 26th January. The event is free and open to all. There is no need to book in advance but an early arrival is recommended.

More information is available at www.cafesciencedundee.co.uk.    


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