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Turing’s Tiger: free lecture on the maths of leopards’ spots and tigers’ stripes

Alan TuringAlan Turing’s ground-breaking work on the mathematics of leopards’ spots and tigers’ stripes will form the subject of a free public lecture at the University of Warwick.

This year is the centenary of the birth of Alan Turing, best known for his wartime code-breaking work at Bletchley Park and his fundamental contributions to computer science and artificial intelligence.

But he was also a pioneer in mathematical biology – a fascinating area which takes in patterns found across the natural world.

In the early 1950s, Turing showed his colleagues a drawing with irregular black and white patches, asking them whether they agreed that it looked like a cow.

In 1952 he published a paper on ‘the chemical basis of morphogenesis’, in which he proposed a mechanism for the creation of animal markings.

The resulting patterns are remarkably similar to those found on many animals, including convoluted stripes on fish and intricate patterns on seashells.

These patterns will be explored in an informal and non-technical talk, entitled Turing’s Tiger, delivered by Professor Ian Stewart of the Department of Mathematics at the University of Warwick on Monday 19 November.

Professor Stewart said: “We associate Turing with computers and codes, but he was also one of the pioneers of mathematical biology.

“Recent research has linked his theory of animal markings to genetics, and his ideas are becoming even more important as a result."

The Warwick Public Lecture in Mathematics and Statistics will take place on Monday 19 November at 6:30 pm in MS.02 in the Zeeman Building at the University of Warwick. Refreshments will also be served. For more details see www.warwick.ac.uk/go/wplms

ENDS


For more information please contact Anna Blackaby, University of Warwick press officer on 02476 575910 or a.blackaby@warwick.ac.uk



Further Information

The Warwick Public Lecture in Mathematics and Statistics will take place on Monday 19 November at 6:30 pm in MS.02 in the Zeeman Building at the University of Warwick.

Refreshments will also be served.

For more details see www.warwick.ac.uk/go/wplms