Monday, 9 November 2009, 12:00AM
Barnard's Inn Hall

Why are pianos out of tune?

Professor Robin Wilson

This lecture explores various ideas of tuning and temperament from the time of Pythagoras, via Isaac Newton and J.S. Bach, to the present day.

This is a part of the series, Maths and Music, which explores a range of connections between these two related disciplines.
The other lectures include:

        The Geometry of Music by Professor Wilfred Hodges
        Composing with numbers by Professor Jonathan Cross

Speaker_RobinWilson_370x370.JPG

Professor Robin Wilson is Emeritus Gresham Professor of Geometry, a professor in the Department of Mathematics at the Open University, and a Stipendiary Lecturer at Pembroke College, Oxford. Professor Wilson also regularly teaches as a guest Professor at Colorado College.

Professor Wilson's academic interests lie in graph theory, particularly in colouring problems, e.g. the four colour problem, and algebraic properties of graphs. He also researches the history of mathematics, particularly British mathematics and mathematics in the 17th century and the period 1860 to 1940 and the history of graph theory and combinatorics.

Outside of the strict mathematical canon, Professor Wilson is particularly interested in the musical output of Gilbert and Sullivan - an interest that has given rise to publications and two Gresham College lectures: 'The Other Side of Sullivan' and 'A Sing-In with Gilbert and Sullivan'.

Prior to his appointment as Gresham Professor of Geometry in 2004, he was the Visiting Professor in the History of Mathematics. Upon his appointment to the Geometry chair, Professor Wilson said: "Mathematics is, and has always been a central part of human culture, and I do not believe that one can fully understand the subject if it is separated from its historical roots. My proposed lectures are designed to support this conviction."

All of Professor Wilson's past lectures can be accessed here.

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9 November 2009

Why are pianos out of tune?
Professor Robin Wilson

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