In his fourth Christmas Lecture from 1978, Christopher Zeeman moves his focus towards applied mathematics, which is often used to model complex systems like financial markets or population dynamics.
Zeeman looks at the difference between discrete and continuous behaviours and how these affect the complexity of a mathematical model. Although the behaviours of individual items are easy to understand, the probabilities and possible combinations in which they arise can become extremely complicated.
For his young audience, Zeeman demonstrates how Game theory has used mathematics to untangle and even predict the outcomes of complex systems – from helping model evolutionary systems in nature to understanding population dynamics and competition through probability and calculus.
Sir Christopher Zeeman