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Talking Maths in Public

A Maths Communication Conference

University of Bath · 1st-2nd September 2017

Supported by

with additional support from



Booking for the Talking Maths in Public conference is now open! You can make a booking using the form below, and once you've booked a ticket you can also pay for accommodation. See further down this page for information about funded bursary places. If you have any questions, please email


Talking Maths in Public is a conference for people who work in, or otherwise participate in, communicating mathematics to the public. It will be a chance for us to get together and participate in workshops, share ideas and get to know each other. The event will run over two days, starting on the Friday morning, and continuing until Saturday afternoon. The two days will include workshops provided by expert guests, discussions on varied topics, networking sessions and chances to share ideas and showcase projects.

The conference fee is £55 and includes: attendance at all sessions, access to all workshops, lunch/refreshments, and an informal conference buffet dinner on the Friday night in Bath city centre.

Accommodation will be available at a cost of £50 per night (single) at the University of Bath’s student halls, in The Quads. Rooms are ensuite, and will be available on the Thursday night and Friday night. Double rooms are also available. If you'd like to book accommodation through us at this discounted rate, the deadline is 1st August. After this date, you will need to arrange your own accommodation separately. While there are no formal sessions on the Thursday night, there will be a nominated venue for those arriving early to meet up and socialise.

Workshops will include:

  • Performance and stage training, with science presenter James Soper
  • Introduction to stand-up comedy, with comedian and presenter Timandra Harkness
  • Writing books about maths, with author Rob Eastaway and editor Jim Martin from Bloomsbury Sigma
  • Freelance skills, with freelance public engagement project manager Rachel Mason
  • Accessibility training, on giving talks and designing events and materials with accessibility in mind, with Alison Kiddle from NRICH
  • Photographer available to take publicity photos/headshots for your own use
  • Guided development workshop for a session or resource, with Ben Sparks (University of Bath) and Sam Durbin (The Royal Institution) - bring along your ideas and work on them with others

We’ll be holding a series of discussion sessions on different topics, provisionally including the relationship between outreach and education, working with high- and low-achieving students, outreach to primary age groups, networking, and improving presentation/production values. We will also be including an open session for people to share stories and details of maths outreach projects they’ve worked on (see below for details), and a puzzles and games lunch session to finish the conference.

The conference will be hosted by Stand-up Mathematician Matt Parker, who will introduce the sessions and compère the open session.


The Talking Maths in Public Conference will take place at the University of Bath on Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd September 2017. The provisional timings for the event are below, and topics for the discussion sessions will be added here once finalised. All details are subject to change.

Provisional Event Schedule

(All details subject to change)

Friday 1st September
10.00 Arrivals and refreshments
10.30 Opening plenary and ice breaker activity
11.00 Presenter skills workshop (James Soper)
12.00 Refreshment break
12.30 Freelance skills workshop (Rachel Mason)
13.00 Accessibility workshop (Alison Kiddle)
13.30 Lunch (photographer available)
14.30 Books workshop (Rob Eastaway and Jim Martin)
15.30 Discussion sessions (two parallel strands)
16.30 Refreshment break
17.00 Comedy workshop (Timandra Harkness)
18.00 Optional: Meet at a nominated pub in Bath city centre
19.30 Conference dinner in Bath city centre

Saturday 2nd September
9.00 Refreshments and welcome
9.30 Project presentations from delegates (submission form)
11.00 Refreshment break
11.30 Guided development workshop (Ben & Sam )
12.30 Feedback from discussion sessions (Katie & Kevin)
13.00 Final plenary
13.30 Lunch with puzzles and games
15.00 Conference ends

Bursary Places

We will also be offering bursary places at the event, with attendance and accommodation covered, for UG/PG students, mathematicians early in their career or returning from a career break, and those unwaged/on a low income who would not otherwise be able to afford to come.

To apply for a bursary place, please email and we'll send you an application form. The deadline for bursary applications is noon on 17th July, and recipients will be notified within a week of that date.

Project Presentations Session

We'll be holding a session on the Saturday at which attendees can present for 5 minutes to showcase a project, organisation or other medium in which they do maths outreach. We'll have a limited time available but will select a range of topics and backgrounds from submissions received, so attendees can get a snapshot of the kind of maths outreach that is happening.

To submit your talk, visit our submission form. Applications will close at noon on 17th July, and those speaking will be notified within a week of that date. If we don't manage to fit you in, but you would still like to let people know about what you're doing, we will have a table/board where you can put up information/flyers others can look at during the event.

Venue information

Address: University of Bath, Claverton Down, Bath BA2 7AY

Getting to the Uni

From the city centre, the University is approximately 1.8 miles away, up a large steep hill - a 35 minute walk from the train station, or a 23-minute cycle (including a 163 metre climb). Buses provided by First Group and Wessex Bus - a First daysaver ticket costs £2.50, and an adult Wessex daysaver is £3.50, but tickets are not interchangeable between providers. Local taxi firms include Abbey Taxis, who can be contacted on 01225 444 444. Uber coverage is also available.

If you're planning to drive to the event, you can indicate this on your order form when you book, and we will contact you with details of parking at the university.

Within the University

We will be holding our sessions in the mathematics department of the University, which is situated in 4 West. The main conference sessions will take place in the Wolfson Lecture Theatre (4W 1.7) on the ground floor, and for the times when parallel sessions take place (3.30pm-4.30pm on the Friday), we will also be using the Maths Social Space on the 4th floor (lift access is available).

At all other times, the Maths Social Space will be available as a 'quiet room', for attendees who wish to work quietly or make use of a quiet space away from the event. Lunch will be served in the atrium/corridor outside Wolfson on the ground floor. All the spaces we'll be using are wheelchair accessible, and more access information is available on the DisabledGo website entry for 4 West.

Atrium space (lunch)Atrium space
Maths social spaceMaths Social Space
Maths social spaceMaths Social Space

Evening Events

The conference dinner, and evening pub social events, will take place in Bath City Centre. For those not in a car, there are buses available to take people between the Uni and the city (see above for details), and the organisers will be leading a party at an appropriate time after sessions finish, to be announced in the final session. Taxis are also available, and Abbey Taxis is a local firm who can be contacted on 01225 444 444. Uber coverage is also available.

Dinner will be a buffet at Jimmy's Restaurant, which serves a range of world cuisine. Dinner is included in the conference fee, and drinks may be purchased separately.

If you have any further questions about the conference, including about access requirements, booking your ticket/accommodation, attending for a single day, the content or timing of the sessions, or anything else, please email and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.

Event organising committee

Kevin Houston

Kevin Houston

University of Leeds

Katie Steckles

Katie Steckles

Think Maths/freelance

Sam Durbin

Sam Durbin

The Royal Institution

Ben Sparks

Ben Sparks

University of Bath/FMSP