Professor Tony Mann has taught mathematics and computing at the University of Greenwich for over twenty years.
Computer systems use mathematics to fly aircraft, carry out complex financial transactions and calculate the optimal design for racing cars.
But mathematics helps solve many other problems: how to assign students to rooms in university halls of residence?
how a computer dating agency can most effectively pair off its clients?
Fascinating mathematical techniques have been developed for these problems and this lecture presents and discusses in simple terms, various non-numerical mathematical algorithms.
With Christopher Good, he has just completed a project for the National Higher Education STEM Programme, creating teaching resources on “Being a Professional Mathematician”, which involved interviewing practising mathematicians about their work and the culture of being in their profession. His lectures as Visiting Gresham Professor of Computing Mathematics will look at the mathematics of computing, and vice versa: topics ranging from how computers (and people) do arithmetic to how pure mathematicians use computers to prove theorems.
They will consider what can go wrong, how computers sometimes get the wrong answer, and the ingenuity mathematicians have used in overcoming the problems inherent in working with computers.Since Gresham Professors such as Henry Briggs, Edmund Gunter and, more recently, Louis Milne-Thomson were pioneers in the mechanisation of computation, he is particularly pleased to be talking on these subjects at Gresham College.He also seeks to promote his subject to different audiences, and is active in outreach events for school students and the general public.He has spoken at Gresham College about prehistoric Scottish stone balls and used computer simulation to calculated π to astonishing accuracy at the British Science Festival.Professor Mann was appointed a National Teaching Fellow in 2008 and received the Times Higher Award for Innovative Teacher of the Year in 2010, both honours reflecting the success of the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Greenwich of which he was Head between 20.Recent publications include an edition of the collected papers of the mathematician William Burnside (co-edited with Peter Neumann and Julia Tompson), and a book chapter on mathematics in Victorian Scotland (written with Alex Craik), and he is now editing, with Mary Croarken and Raymond Flood, a book of essays on the history of mathematics at Greenwich.