We had a fantastic time in Oxford last week visiting the new maths institute for a garden party and talk by Marcus du Sautoy.
I’ve only been to Oxford once, many years ago so it was a real treat to be shown around by Cha-guy who studied maths there.
Our first night was spent at the delightful riverside pub the Trout Inn, a beautiful venue with peacocks roaming around the gardens, a fine restaurant and tranquil waterside location.
The following day we visited the Bodleian Library to see the ‘Magical Books’ exhibition.. a wonderful compendium of ancient and recent books which are all inspired by the notion of magic.
We then made our way over to the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter and the newly built maths institute.
The building was amazing with very clever geometric twists in its structure, the main entrance has a series of Penrose tiles and a sign saying ‘Let no one destitute of geometry enter this building’
I had visions of maths professors having to ‘throw shapes’ like a form of geometric break-dancing in order to gain entry to the lecture theatres.. :P
Yes those are my feet, do you like my red shoes? :)
The talk by Marcus du Sautoy was focused on the ‘Secret mathematicians’ artists such as Le Corbusier, Salvidor Dali and Olivier Messiaen who integrated maths into their creative works.
Here is an extract
It was followed by a ‘Garden Party’ in the common room (I think the garden was still being built) and tour of the building which had some clever maths integrated into the architecture including a glass crystal structure which mapped the sound of a drum,
as well as a roof which mimicked baroque perspectives.
Afterwards we had al fresco drinks in a pub near Christchurch college. I recognised the area immediately as I had discovered a rare clip of J.R.R Tolkien walking out of the college, the camera then pans to the Blackwells bookshop which was just in front of the pub where we were, here is a link to the clip http://www.itnsource.com/compilation/S13070901/#57
(sorry for the nerdy archive footage diversion there, but I just had to get that out of my system..)
On our last day we decided to walk from Oxford to Abingdon along the River Thames, it was lovely, peaceful and quite wild in places.
At one point we thought we could hear an ice-cream van but it turned out to be a Jamaican steel band floating down the river..
I totally fell in love with Oxford and can’t wait to go back!