The human brain is the object of the ultimate intellectual egocentrism. It is also a source of endless scientific problems and an organ of such complexity that it is not clear that a mathematical approach is even possible, despite many attempts.

In this talk Alain will use the brain to showcase how applied mathematics thrives on such challenges. Through mathematical modelling, we will see how we can gain insight into how the brain acquires its convoluted shape and what happens during trauma. We will also consider the dramatic but fascinating progression of neuro-degenerative diseases, and, eventually, hope to learn a bit about who we are before it is too late.

Alain Goriely is Professor of Mathematical Modelling, University of Oxford and author of 'Applied Mathematics: A Very Short Introduction.'