Four Ways of Thinking: Statistical, Interactive, Chaotic and Complex - David Sumpter
Oxford Mathematics Public Lecture

Four Ways of Thinking: Statistical, Interactive, Chaotic and Complex – David Sumpter
Wednesday 13 September 2023
5 – 6pm Andrew Wiles Building, Mathematical Institute, Oxford

Mathematics is about finding better ways of reasoning. But for many applied mathematicians, the primary mission is to shape their minds in a way that gets them closer to the truth. The calculations are secondary, the real question is: how we can better understand the world around us?

David will take us on a journey through applied mathematics from statistics all the way to complexity theory, lifting examples from his work with football clubs — signing the best players (statistical thinking) or organising an attack (complex thinking) – and from every day life — bickering less with our partners (interactive thinking) and learning to let go (chaotic thinking). David reimagines applied mathematics as a set of tools for life, from big work decisions to how we treat our friends, family and work colleagues. No problem is too big or too small for a mathematical solution.

Professor David Sumpter is author of five books including Soccermatics (2016), Outnumbered (2018) and Four Ways of Thinking (2023). His research covers everything from the inner workings of fish schools and ant colonies, through social psychology and segregation in society, to machine learning and artificial intelligence. He has consulted for leading football clubs and national teams and has written for The Economist 1843, The Telegraph, The Guardian, Prospect and FourFourTwo magazine.

Please email to register.

The Oxford Mathematics Public Lectures are generously supported by XTX Markets.
Date: 13 September 2023, 17:00 (Wednesday, 21st week, Trinity 2023)
Venue: Mathematical Institute, Woodstock Road OX2 6GG
Venue Details: Lecture Theatre 1
Speaker: David Sumpter (University of Uppsala)
Organising department: Mathematical Institute
Organiser contact email address:
Host: Dyrol Lumbard (University of Oxford)
Part of: Oxford Mathematics Public Lectures
Booking required?: Required
Booking email:
Cost: n/a
Audience: Public
Editor: Dyrol Lumbard