ICMS gets festive about science

Yesterday morning the programme for the Edinburgh International Science Festival was formally launched by the Michael Russell MSP, the Scottish Culture Minister.  This year’s programme contains six events orgainsed by  ICMS – our largest contribution to the Festival to date.

Paul Erdos in N is a Number

Paul Erdös in N is a Number

Building on the success of last year’s Film Cubed season, we return to Filmhouse Cinema for Maths at the Movies.  This year the focus is on the way mathematicians are represented in different kinds of narrative – pure fiction, fictionalised real life and documentary.  The pure fiction offering is The Oxford Murders, starring John Hurt and Elijah Wood, screened on April 7.   The Hollywood retelling of the story of maths students taking on the Las Vegas casinos is our second film, 21. It stars Kevin Spacey and is screened on 9 April.  The season concludes on 16 April with the documentary N is a number – a film portrait of Paul Erdös.  This screening will be followed by an audience and panel discussion.


Still from Ratatouille

Staying with the film theme, we are very pleased to welcome David Baraff of Pixar Animation Studios. Onthe evening of 14 April, David will be giving a talk on the a role of mathematical modelling in computer animation, illustrated with clips and computer graphics and not an equation in sight!  To complement this talk, there will be a screening of Pixar’s Oscar winning tale of a French rat’s ambition to be a chef, Ratatouille. David will give a special introduction to the film at Filmhouse Cinema earlier that afternoon.

Allen Knutson, The Juggling Mathematician

Allen Knutson, The Juggling Mathematician

Our sixth presentation for this festival is a talk by Allen Knutson, of Cornell University, about the relationship between mathematics and juggling!  By mathematically analysing the process of juggling he found it was possible to discover new tricks that may never have come to light otherwise.  This promises to be a most entertaining event as Allen demonstrates the principles involved using his dazzling juggling skills. This event takes place early in the evening of 14 April.

Both talks will be in the Informatics Forum, University of Edinburgh.  Tickets can be purchased in advance from the Science Festival website.

All four films will be screened in Filmhouse Cinema, 88 Lothian Road, Edinburgh.  Tickets can be purchased in advance from the Filmhouse website or in person at their box office.


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