Marcus du Sautoy becomes Honorary Visiting Professor at RNCM

We are delighted to announce that Professor Marcus du Sautoy has been elected Honorary Visiting Professor at RNCM.

Feb 12 2020

Professor Marcus du Sautoy, OBE, Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science and a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford. Formerly a Fellow of All Souls College, and Wadham College, he is now a Fellow of New College. He is President of the Mathematical Association.

Professor Marcus du Sautoy

Marcus is a founding member and Co-Director of PRiSM, the RNCM Centre for Practice & Research in Science & Music, launched in 2017. He is the Charles Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science and Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford.

He received an OBE for services to science in the 2010 New Year’s Honours List and was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2016. Marcus has presented numerous radio and TV series including a four-part landmark TV series for the BBC called The Story of Maths. He works extensively with a range of arts organisations, from the Royal Opera House to Glastonbury Festival, bringing sciences alive for the public.

PRiSM Director Professor Emily Howard commented: “This is fantastic news, and richly deserved. I first met Marcus in 2016 and we hit it off over a mutual love of the mathematical torus shape (a doughnut). Marcus had recently written a torus-inspired play, and I was completing a BBC Proms commission entitled Torus. On hearing my title, Marcus immediately told me that the Royal Albert Hall was itself a torus (a connection I had not made), an early sign of his amazing ability to make creative connections on every level. His love of mathematics, as well as of music, is infectious and very soon afterwards, we began working together on what was to become the inaugural PRiSM Collaboration ‘The Music of Proof’.”

What an honour! It has been such an exciting experience helping to establish PRiSM at the RNCM and continues to be as we see our programme and team expanding. The College has such a wonderful vibe, I always come away from events that we’ve organised hugely energised. The Honorary Visiting Professorship makes me feel like I can think of the RNCM like a second home. When I was at school, I always wrestled with the dilemma of whether to follow my mathematical or musical passions. Now I feel like I don’t have to make that choice. – Professor Marcus du Sautoy

Marcus du Sautoy with students from RNCM School of Vocal Studies and Opera, PRiSM Launch Event 2017

Professor du Sautoy’s boundless energy, commitment, and abundance of creative ideas have been vital for establishing PRiSM. He has made regular visits to the RNCM to deliver workshops and high-profile public PRiSM events in collaboration with RNCM students since the Centre’s inception.

His mathematical imagination influences PRiSM in countless ways, from the mathematics that informed the PRiSM logo to the recent design of the carpet tiling in the new PRiSM Lab Space at RNCM, funded by the Research England Expanding Excellence in England (E3) Fund. His 2019 book The Creativity Code: how AI is learning to write, paint and think, charts new developments in AI in an enquiry into exactly what it is to be creative in mathematics, art, language and music, an area of fundamental importance to PRiSM.