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definition - Marcus_du_Sautoy

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Marcus du Sautoy

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Marcus Peter Francis du Sautoy
Born26 August 1965 (1965-08-26) (age 44)[1][2]
London, England
Doctoral advisorDaniel Segal
Notable awardsBerwick Prize (2001)

Marcus Peter Francis du Sautoy OBE (born in London, 26 August 1965) is 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 currently an EPSRC Senior Media Fellow and was previously a Royal Society University Research Fellow. His academic work concerns mainly group theory and number theory. In October 2008, he was appointed to the Simonyi Professorship for the Public Understanding of Science.


Early life and education

He grew up in Henley-on-Thames and was educated at local comprehensives Gillott's School and King James's College (VI Form, now Henley College) and Wadham College, Oxford where he obtained first class honours in Mathematics.

Career in mathematics

In March, 2006, his article Prime Numbers Get Hitched was published on Seed Magazine's website.[3] In it he explained how the number 42, mentioned in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy as the answer to everything, is related to the Riemann zeta function. He has also published an article in the scientific magazine New Scientist.

In December 2006 du Sautoy delivered the 2006 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures under the collective title The Num8er My5teries. This was only the third time the subject of the lectures had been mathematics — on the first occasion in 1978, when the lecture was delivered by Erik Christopher Zeeman, du Sautoy had been a schoolboy in the audience. The venue for the 2006 Christmas Lectures was the Institution of Engineering and Technology's headquarters at Savoy Place, London. Du Sautoy was an early critic of An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything.[4][5]

Du Sautoy is known for his work popularizing mathematics. He has been named by The Independent on Sunday as one of the UK's leading scientists. In 2001 he won the Berwick Prize of the London Mathematical Society, which is awarded every two years to reward the best mathematical research by a mathematician under forty. He writes for The Times and The Guardian and has appeared several times on BBC Radio 4 and television. He presented the television programme, Mind Games, on BBC Four. He has also written numerous academic articles and books on mathematics.[6] He is succeeding Richard Dawkins in the Chair.[7][8] du Sautoy is on the advisory board of Mangahigh.com - an online maths game website and has appeared on Channel 4 News and on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme promoting the service. Du Sautoy was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2010 New Year Honours.[9]

Personal life

Du Sautoy currently lives in London with his wife and three children. He plays football and the trumpet. He is a supporter of Common Hope, an organisation that helps people in Guatemala.[10][11] He is an atheist, describing his own "religion" as being "Arsenal - football."[12]

Popular publications


  • The Music of the Primes (2003)
  • Finding Moonshine (UK title, 2007); Symmetry: A Journey into the Patterns of Nature (US title, 2008)
  • The Num8er My5teries: A Mathematical Odyssey Through Everyday Life (2009)


  • The Story of Maths (BBC Four, 2008)[13] is a four part series first broadcast on BBC Four. In this series he discovers techniques and theories from different times and cultures.
  • Horizon: Alan and Marcus Go Forth and Multiply (BBC 2, 2009). Alan Davies embarks on a maths odyssey with the help of mathematician Marcus du Sautoy.
  • Horizon: The Secret You (BBC 2, 2009). Marcus du Sautoy investigates self-awareness.
  • Horizon: How Long is a Piece of String? (BBC 2, 2009). Alan Davies attempts to answer the proverbial question: how long is a piece of string? Featuring Marcus du Sautoy.



  1. ^ "MarcusduSautoy". Twitter. 2009-05-10. http://twitter.com/MarcusduSautoy/status/1753956325. Retrieved 2009-05-10. 
  2. ^ "Prof Marcus du Sautoy portrait", The Daily Telegraph, 2008-06-27, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/nationaltreasures/2194281/Prof-Marcus-du-Sautoy-portrait.html, retrieved 2009-05-10 
  3. ^ du Sautoy, Marcus (2006-03-27). "Prime Numbers Get Hitched". Seed magazine. http://www.seedmagazine.com/news/2006/03/prime_numbers_get_hitched.php. Retrieved 2008-10-29. 
  4. ^ Music of the Primes lecture, at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, April 27, 2007
  5. ^ Dr Marcus Du Sautoy - Keynote Speaking
  6. ^ "Science Extra: Marcus du Sautoy steps into Dawkins' boots". The Guardian. 2008-10-28. http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/blog/audio/2008/oct/28/marcus-du-sautoy-richard-dawkins. Retrieved 2008-10-29. 
  7. ^ A mathematician who's in his prime: As fascinated by football as he is by the language of numbers, the successor to his fellow atheist Richard Dawkins at Oxford University is set to become an engaging, if less confrontational, public face of science 2 November 2008
  8. ^ "New Simonyi Chair appointed". University of Oxford. 2008-10-28. http://www.ox.ac.uk/media/news_stories/2008/081028.html. Retrieved 2008-10-29. 
  9. ^ London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 59282, p. 9, 31 December 2009.
  10. ^ "Interview with Marcus du Sautoy", New Scientist, 29 November 2008, http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20026842.000-how-to-sell-science-to-the-big-brother-generation.html?full=true 
  11. ^ Marcus du Sautoy's Fundraising Page
  12. ^ Interview with Kirsty Young on Desert Island Discs, 12 December 2008
  13. ^ "The Story of Maths". open2.net. http://www.open2.net/storyofmaths/index.html. Retrieved 2008-10-29. 

External links


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