Local Links

Exhibition : Mathematics and Knots
Symbolic Sculpture and Mathematics.

Wider Links

Here is a page of links to wider maths resources.

Why a Centre for the Popularisation of Mathematics ?

Our aim is to present Mathematics to as wide as possible an audience, and to give an impression for mathematics of

In this way we hope to allow the public and government to obtain a more accurate view of the place of mathematics in our understanding of the world, and our ability to work and live within it.

Unfortunately, our subject is often presented to school children, to students and to the general public as dull, or outlandish and impractical, or very useful but hard, to be practised only by a few, akin to the eccentric geniuses of fiction. Even professional mathematicians are known to present the value of mathematics as concerned with utility, or achievement. These values are necessary for many purposes, and should be presented, but are not sufficient.

An international conference organised by ICMI (The International Commision on Mathematical Instruction) was held in Leeds in 1989 to bring together people from around the world to compare experiences and plans for "The Popularisation of Mathematics". We presented to the Pop Maths Roadshow an exhibition, `Mathematics and Knots', and also an exhibition of thirteen of John Robinson's sculptures.

In all this, our aim was to show mathematics as a study of form, pattern, and structure; that it deals with problems of representation, deduction, and computation with form, pattern, and structure; and that it is for this reason that mathematics is a basis and necessity for a wide range of studies and activities.

Who is the "audience" ??

But we also seek to involve members of the general public in "doing" some mathematics. We hope to bring certain areas of mathematical thought to the attention of anyone who enjoys thinking and puzzling over patterns and structures and also to introduce many people to the idea that mathematics is something which they can do. We seek to popularise mathematics with our own undergraduate students and with school children.

What has been done so far ?

The Centre was formed in 1989, as a stimulus and focus to a range of activities.