The secrets of Pi with Frank Calegari

Join Professor Frank Calegari on his 2022 Mahler Lecture Tour for a public talk on transcendental numbers

The secrets of Pi and other transcendental numbers

Join esteemed algebraic number theorist Professor Frank Calegari on his 2022 Mahler Lecture Tour for a public talk presented through SMRI. Please register for ‘The secrets of Pi’ on Eventbrite by 17 October.

Since antiquity, mathematicians have understood that the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter is a fundamental constant, the real number now known as Pi = 3.141529…Throughout the centuries, the number Pi has come up again and again in mathematics in many totally different contexts — as the special value of various integrals, the solution to questions in probability, and many more places.

In this talk, we will explore a conjecture, formalised by Grothendieck, which explains how seemingly different occurrences of Pi (as well as many other interesting mathematical constants) should all be related. These numbers are linked to some the biggest open problems in algebra and number theory.

This talk will be accessible to anyone with an interest in mathematics. Senior high school students are encouraged to attend and see integrals outside the classroom!

The lecture will begin at 18:00. Drinks and canapés will be served after the lecture concludes around 19:00. Guests will also have the opportunity to interact with mathematical gadgets presented by students from the University of Sydney.

Please note this lecture will take place in-person and will not be recorded. Numbers may be limited, so please register early to avoid disappointment.

About the speaker: Born in Melbourne, Frank Calegari attended Melbourne University as an undergraduate and completed his graduate studies under Ken Ribet at the University of California at Berkeley. He has been a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard and was a Fellow of the American Mathematical Institute from 2002-2007, and a von Neumann Fellow of Mathematics at the Institute for Advanced Study from 2010 to 2011.

Frank joined the Faculty of Northwestern University in 2006 and since 2015, he has been a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Chicago. Frank’s numerous awards include a Sloan Fellowship in 2009 and in 2013 he become a fellow of the American Mathematical Society.

Frank’s other interests include coffee, cooking, cricket, and classical piano; he performed live with Zubin Mehta and the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra.

About the Mahler Lecture Tour: The Mahler lectures are a biennial activity organised by the Australian Mathematical Society, and supported by the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute. The tour invites a prominent international mathematician to travel to Australian universities to deliver lectures at a variety of levels, including several public lectures.

Event Details


Nov 23, 2022
18:00 AEDT




17 November 2022 via Eventbrite



Messel Lecture Theatre, Sydney Nanoscience Hub,
The University of Sydney
Camperdown, NSW 2006