James travels extensively giving public talks all over the UK and the world. These talks are for a variety of ages and abilities, including talks for schools, colleges, universities, festivals or other events.
Below is information on some of the talks you can book. If you are an organiser of such an event and wish to book, please read the information below and send a message via the contact page.
Enigma and the Secret World of Codes and Code Breaking:
The Enigma Project is a presentation about the fascinating history and mathematics of codes and code breaking – from ancient Greece to the present day – including a demonstration of an original WWII Enigma Machine!
After the presentation I can run the code breaking workshops where it is the student’s turn to be the code breakers! Cryptography is one of the most interesting, inspiring and exotic applications of mathematics.
This is a popular event which I have been running for many years. It is suitable for all ages and abilities from KS2-KS5. It is primarily aimed at school students, but visits can be organised for any educational establishment. The Enigma Project is also suitable for Masterclasses, Summer Schools, Gifted and Talented workshops, Teachers’ conferences and weekend and evening events – with organisation and activities adjusted as appropriate.
Click here for more information, and below is the FAQ:
The Enigma Project is suitable for pupils of all ages and abilities from KS2-KS5.
Typically the Enigma Project starts with a one hour presentation to all involved. This is then followed by a workshop repeated up to five times throughout the day.
An opening 50-60min interactive presentation introduces students to the history and mathematics of codes and code breaking – including a demonstration of an original WWII Enigma Machine!
The code breaking workshops last for 50-60min, now it’s your turn to be the code breakers!
There may be up to five workshops during the day. We ask that no more than 30 students can be involved in each workshop session.
Quotations are inclusive of all travel and accommodation.
Typical day rate for UK schools (Enigma presentation and up to 5 workshops): £795
It is possible to add an evening presentation to parents and the local community. Ask for details.
A discount may be available to junior schools, or schools local to Cambridge. Ask for details.
Presentations for international schools and other organisations and events are possible but charges may vary – we will be happy to discuss with you before booking.
Alan Turing and the Enigma Machine:
Alan Turing was one of our great 20th century mathematicians, and a pioneer of computer science. However, he may best be remembered as one of the leading code breakers of Bletchley Park during World War II. It was Turing’s brilliant insights and mathematical mind that helped to break Enigma, the apparently unbreakable code used by the German military. We present a history of both Alan Turing and the Enigma, leading up to this fascinating battle of man against machine – including a full demonstration of an original WWII Enigma Machine!
This talk grew out of my previous work for the Enigma Project but is a one hour presentation focused purely on the life of Alan Turing, the development of the Enigma Machine and how that code was finally broken.
This talk is suitable for adult audiences and universities.
Here is a clip of me giving this talk at The Perimeter Institute, in which I give a demonstration of an original Enigma Machine.
Bits and Pieces: Secrets of a Digital World
Heard about Enigma? Then hear about the other German code machine, Lorenz – a machine used for the most important of messages, including those from Adolf Hitler himself.
Or hear the story of Hedy Lamarr, the Golden Age Hollywood film star and secret inventor who patented a way to transmit messages without being blocked that we still use in WiFi today.
See how messages and photos are transmitted on the internet, and the secret messages that tell a film studio when you are sharing movies illegally.
See how are messages transmitted without mistakes, even from space. And we’ll prove that you can drill a hole in a CD and it will still play – live!
This is a 60 minute talk that takes a look at the hidden maths behind the digital world, from WWII to WiFi.
In the early days of mathematics, some numbers and some shapes, with certain properties, were given special meanings. Some numbers represented perfection; some numbers represented love; and to the ancient Greeks, some shapes represented the four elements of Earth, Water, Air and Fire. We will learn and prove many amazing facts about these special numbers, and discover that a history of these mystical numbers is a history of number theory itself.
This is a 120-150 minute masterclass, suitable for KS3, summer schools and Gifted and Talented workshops. This masterclass originated as an RI Maths Masterclass. We ask for no more than 60 students in a masterclass.
The masterclass can also be run as a one hour interactive presentation.
Star Trek: The Math of Khan:
The original Star Trek featured many futuristic ideas such as warp drives, transporters, and travel to strange new worlds. All of which have been discussed in great detail, by experts and nerds alike. But what about the maths of Star Trek? After all, there’s no such thing as Maths Fiction…
In fact, Star Trek featured many interesting mathematical ideas including; the mathematics of alien biology; a paradox that upset 20th century mathematicians as well as 23rd century androids; and the most important question of all – when on a dangerous away mission, does the colour of your shirt really affect your chances of survival?
A quirky talk I’ve been developing since the reboot of the Star Trek movies (or if you look at it another way, one I’ve been developing all my life). One for science fiction and film fans who want to discover the hidden maths in Star Trek.
I have done this as a one hour talk, or as a 20 minute film introduction. Similarly, other film introductions I have done include Enigma (obviously), Good Will Hunting, The Man Who Knew Infinity (Ramanujan biopic), Jurassic Park, Donald Duck in Mathmagicland and Alice in Wonderland.
To book any of the above talks, or to discuss other events, please contact me via the contact form, or email.
To be updated!
Chelsea Old Town Hall – Good Will Hunting – 17th May 2015
Tour of Finland – September 2014
Hi everyone, next week I start a tour of Finland. I’ll be talking about Enigma and code breaking because that’s my jam. Some of these talks are public, or at least might let you in, so you might want to come along. Here’s what I know:
Monday 29th September, 12pm and 5pm: åbo akademi, Turku. Arken Building.
Tuesday 30th, 6pm: Cafe Scientifique at Monitomitalo, Tampere.
Wednesday 1st of October, 10am: Tampere University of Technology.
Thursday 2nd, 1pm: Aalto University, Otaniemi Campus, Helsinki.
Thursday 2nd, 4pm: University of Helsinki, Kumpula Campus, Exactum Building, Helsinki.
Saturday 4th, 11am, 1pm: Tietomaa Science Centre, Oulu.
Monday 6th, 6pm: Kuopion Lyseo High School, Kuopio.
Tuesday 7th, 5pm: Joensuu University.
Thursday 9th, 4pm: Kuntayhtymä, Jyväskylä.
Maybe I’ll see some of you there.