La matematica: un ponte tra le due culture | Mathematics: A Bridge between the Two Cultures

Marcus du Sautoy

Series: Bruno Kessler Lectures
Number: 2
Publisher: FBK Press
Place of publication: Trento
Year: 2015
Pages: 84






«... I found when I was at school, there was a way to combine my love of the arts and my falling in love with the world of science. And it was mathematics that I found to be an amazing bridge between the two.»



Mathematics: A Bridge between the Two Cultures

Short Biography

Main Publications


Marcus du Sautoy is the Charles Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science and Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of New College. In 2001, he won the 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 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 Order of the British Empire 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.

He is author of numerous academic articles and books on mathematics. He has been a visiting Professor at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, the Max Planck Institute in Bonn, the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the Australian National University in Canberra. He has received honorary doctorates from The Open University, Queen Mary College, London, The University of Liverpool, The University of Bath, and The University of South Wales.

Marcus du Sautoy is author of the best-selling popular mathematics book The Music of the Primes published in 2003 and translated into ten languages. It has won two major prizes in Italy and Germany for the best popular science book of the year. His book Finding Moonshine: A Mathematician’s Journey through Symmetry appeared in 2008. It was longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction. His third book The Num8er My5teries was published in 2010. He is also «Super Geek Consultant» for Lauren Child’s series of children’s books about child spy Ruby Redfort. He is currently writing a new book called What We Cannot Know to be published in 2016.

Marcus du Sautoy writes for the «Times», «Daily Telegraph», «Independent», and «The Guardian» and is frequently asked for comment on BBC radio and television. For several years, he had a regular column in the «Times» called Sexy Science. He was presenter of BBC4’s TV game show Mind Games, for which he was nominated for the Royal Society of Television’s Best Newcomer to a Network award. In 2005, he presented a documentary for BBC4 and BBC2 based on his book The Music of the Primes. In autumn 2008, he wrote and presented a four part landmark TV series for the BBC called The Story of Maths. He has presented five BBC Horizons including Alan and Marcus Go Forth and Multiply co-presented with comedian Alan Davies and The Secret You a film about the Science of Consciousness. In 2010, he presented a six part TV series for BBC called The Beauty of Diagrams. In summer 2011, he presented a new 3-part landmark series called The Code broadcast on BBC2 to huge critical acclaim. In 2012, he took part in the BBC’s program Maestro at the Opera making it through to the final where he was beaten by Craig Revel-Horwood. In 2013, he presented the three part series Precision: The Measure of all Things. He currently co-presents the School of Hard Sums on Dave with comedian Dara O’Briain.

He has written and presented several series for radio including: 5 Shapes for BBC radio 4 in 2004, Maths and Music for the Essay on BBC radio 3 in 2007, and The Baroque: From Ecstasy to Infinity for BBC radio 3 in 2009. In 2010 he wrote and presented a ten part series for BBC Radio 4 called A Short History of Mathematics. He gave the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures in 2006 entitled The Num8er My5teries, broadcast on Channel Five. His presentations on mathematics, which include Why Beckham Chose the 23 Shirt, have played to a wide range of audiences: from theatre directors to bankers, from diplomats to prison inmates. In 2009, he was invited to give a TED lecture entitled Symmetry, Reality’s Riddle.

He collaborates regularly with different artists. He was the mathematical advisor for Complicite’s play A Disappearing Number and the National Theatre’s production of A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime. In 2013, he staged a special performance in the Lindbury theatre at the Royal Opera House exploring the mathematics of Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute with singers from the Opera House. The same year he collaborated with composer and DJ James Holden on a performance entitled Consciousness at the Barbican and his new play X&Y, in which he plays X, opened at the Science Museum in London and headlined the Astrolabe Theatre at Glastonbury the following summer. In 2014, he also curated and presented three concerts with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra exploring the connections between mathematics and music.

Marcus du Sautoy plays the trumpet and football. Like Beckham, he also plays in a prime number shirt, no 17, for Recreativo FC based in the Hackney Marshes. Born in 1965, he lives in London with his wife, three children, and cat Freddie Ljungberg.

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