5th Annual Boole Lecture in Mathematics

The Creativity Code

a public lecture by

Professor Marcus du Sautoy OBE FRS

Charles Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at the Oxford University
Professor of Mathematics and Fellow of New College, Oxford.

Wednesday 15 January 2020

6 pm – 7:20 pm

Newton Lecture Theatre INB0114 in the Isaac Newton building, University of Lincoln

The lecture will be followed by signing the  book “The Creativity Code by the author. This book (and some others by the same author) will be available to purchase before and after the lecture from a bookstall by “Lindum Books .

Book a place

Humans are increasingly handing over our decision making responsibilities to complex algorithms; whether it’s to decide the music we listen to, the partners we date, or driving our investments. What happens when those algorithms go one step further and learn, adapt, and create like humans? Professor Marcus du Sautoy looks at the nature of creativity and asks how long it will be before computers can compose a symphony, write a Nobel Prize-winning novel or paint a masterpiece. And if so, would we be able to tell the difference? As humans, we have an extraordinary ability to create works of art that elevate, expand and transform what it means to be alive. Yet in many other areas, new developments in AI are shaking up the status quo, as we find out how many of the tasks humans engage in can be done equally well, if not better, by machines. But can machines be creative? Will they soon be able to learn from the art that moves us, and understand what distinguishes it from the mundane? Du Sautoy asks how much of our emotional response to a great work of art is down to our brains reacting to pattern and structure and explores what it is to be creative in mathematics, art, language and music. Could machines come up with something creative, and might that push us into being more imaginative in turn?

Marcus du Sautoy is the Charles Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at the Oxford University, a chair he holds jointly at the Department of Continuing Education and the Mathematical Institute. He is also a Professor of Mathematics and a Fellow of New College. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2016. In 2001 he won the prestigious Berwick Prize of the London Mathematical Society awarded every two years to reward the best mathematical research made by a mathematician under 40. In 2004 Esquire Magazine chose him as one of the 100 most influential people under 40 in Britain and in 2008 he was included in the prestigious directory Who’s Who. In 2009 he was awarded the Royal Society’s Faraday Prize, the UK’s premier award for excellence in communicating science. He received an OBE for services to science in the 2010 New Year’s Honours List. He also received the Joint Policy for Mathematics Board Communications Award for 2010 and the London Mathematical Society Zeeman Medal for 2014 for promotion of mathematics to the public. Marcus is well known for his work popularising mathematics on radio, TV, and in print. He is the author of the best-selling popular mathematics book “The Music of the Primes”, as well as of six other popular mathematics books, including his latest book “The Creativity Code”.

13 Comments Add yours

  1. Feedback by email:
    Thank you very much for Marcus du Sautoy’s creativity and AI lecture yesterday; it was both informative and entertaining (the interactive element was well thought through). My teenage daughters enjoyed it, too. They were amused by the AI’s Harry Potter!
    Jane Riley


  2. Feedback by email:
    We very much enjoyed the lecture on Wednesday. It was well delivered and made what could have been a difficult subject to understand accessible for the non specialist. It gave us much to think about. We very much appreciate the opportunity to attend these lectures given by well respected speakers not 15 minutes walk from home!
    Thank you
    Linda and Richard Hall


  3. Feedback by email:
    This was a very engaging event, thought provoking to the endless possibilities of A.I.
    A well presented talk, the app was a useful idea .
    David Royle.


  4. Pauline Tait says:

    Excellent lecture! It was very well presented with great visuals and even some audience participation. Great to see such a large crowd out on a cold, January evening to learn about maths. Wee done University of Lincoln – These free public lectures are fantastic!


  5. Martin Parkinson says:

    Marcus is a big hero of mine and it was amazing to see him speak so creatively. I have spoken to all my friends about the content.
    I long for the day that Brexit is never mentioned however.
    I love the Uni of Lincoln public lectures – Keep them coming.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Anthony Breeson says:

    This was a masterclass in public speaking and the best lecture I have attended at Lincoln university. It was very impressive that Marcus required no written notes for a presentation that lasted 70 minutes, but because it was so enthralling seemed to last a much shorter time. It was also an excellent idea to have audience participation to record if the paintings were by a real artist or a computer

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Alan Hudson says:

    A really interesting and informative talk, we all enjoyed it, (that is my friends and I) and were talking about it afterwards all the while we were eating our pizzas. A splendid way to spend an evening.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. A Henson says:

    An excellent lecture.
    PS to the gentleman who asked the question. My answer is that I have been writing self modifying code since the ’70s generating completely new processes. Most usually in machine code.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Stephanie Lucy HEYWOOD says:

    This was an amazing lecture for me, as a person who knows nothing about AI. I was gripped from the start. It was fascinating, entertaining, enlightening; I could go on. Thank you, Marcus du Sautoy. I will look out for further lectures – and I may even read your book.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Rosie DaCosta says:

    A most enjoyable lecture and very thought provoking. The visual examples of the work of Artificial intelligence v Rembrandt were stunning! So pleased I booked our tickets early!


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