Models of the mind: how maths has shaped our understanding of the brain

7.00pm to 8.30pm, Thursday 4 March

The Royal Institution of Great Britain GB United Kingdom W1S 4BS 21 Albemarle Street London

This event has already taken place

  • Credit: via Bloomsbury


Pay what you can

Event description

Our brain is a powerhouse, made up of 85 billion neurons and all connected by over 100 trillion synapses. How do you study something so intricate and powerful?  

Join computational neuroscientist Grace Lindsay as she explores how mathematical models have allowed scientists to understand and describe many of the brain's processes, in conversation with the Royal Institution. 

In this conversation, Grace will discuss how we’ve progressed from experimenting on frog legs to building the large models of artificial neural networks that form the basis of modern artificial intelligence. 

Book tickets


These online events are free for everyone to access. However, donations are an extremely important source of support for us and we would be most grateful if you are able to contribute. We are a small, independent charity and receive no government funding.  Our income from ticket sales and venue hire has been significantly reduced and will continue to fall. Donations, alongside our membership subscriptions are vital to our development and survival.

Please donate via our JustGiving page. Every donation we receive makes a difference. Thank you for your support.

About the speaker

Grace Lindsay is a computational neuroscientist currently living in London.

She completed her PhD at the Centre for Theoretical Neuroscience at Columbia University, where her research focused on building mathematical models of how the brain controls its own sensory processing.

Before that, she earned a Bachelor's degree in Neuroscience from the University of Pittsburgh and received a research fellowship to study at the Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience in Freiburg, Germany.

She was also awarded a Google PhD Fellowship in Computational Neuroscience in 2016, and has spoken at several international conferences. She is also the producer and co-host of Unsupervised Thinking, a podcast covering topics in neuroscience and artificial intelligence.


Grace's book, 'Models of the mind: How Physics, Engineering and Mathematics Have Shaped Our Understanding of the Brain', launches 4 March. 

Ri Members receive a 20% discount when they buy directly from Bloomsbury. Details of this can be found in your member newsletter. Please contact if you need further information. 




The live stream will go live at 6.55pm, and the introduction will begin at 7.00pm. If you register but miss the live stream, the video will be available to you via the same link for up to a week after the event date.

The Royal Institution is part of the Amazon Affiliate Programme and book links on this page are affiliate links, which means it won't cost you any extra but we may earn a small commission if you decide to purchase through the link. All procceeds help support the charitable work of the Ri. Affiliate disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate The Royal Institution earns from qualifying purchases.

Become a member

Benefit from free and better than half-price tickets, special offers and access to the CHRISTMAS LECTURES ticket ballot.

Join todayGo