Some wrinkles in Gauss’ Theorem: Mathematics of everyday objects from Pizza to Umbrellas and Parachutes - G. I. Taylor Lecture

Professor Dominic Vella

  • 30 January 2023, 18:00 – 19:00
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb Lecture Theatre
Upcoming event Booking Recommended
  • Event cost: Free
  • Disabled access?: Yes
  • Booking required: Yes



Professor Dominic Vella is Professor of Applied Mathematics at the Mathematical Institute in the University of Oxford, as well as a tutorial fellow at Lincoln College.

G.I. Taylor Lecture

Geoffrey Ingram Taylor (1886-1975) was a polymath, one of the most notable scientists of this century, occupying a leading place in applied, science, classical physics and engineering science. His most notable contributions have been in the fields of mechanics of fluids and solids, with application to meteorology, oceanography, aeronautics, metal physics, mechanical engineering and chemical engineering. He was a great experimentalist, with well-honed practical skills (whilst a schoolboy GI build a sailing boat 13.5 feet long in his bedroom (which was 14 feet long), doing it all himself apart from some help from his mother in making the sails, and sailed it alone from Hammersmith to Sheerness and back, sleeping on board with one leg either side of the centreboard case.

He was interested in science from an early age, and at the age of 11 attended the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures from Sir Oliver Lodge on ‘The principles of the electric telegraph’. These made a deep impression on him and he is quoted as saying that ‘from that time I knew I wanted to be a scientist’. Taking inspiration from the practical demonstrations in the lectures, he built his own Wimshurst machine and used it to generate low-energy X-rays  (which had just been discovered).

GI returned to Cambridge as a lecturer in mathematics; he was not much interested in teaching, but the award of a Royal Society Research Professorship in 1923 enabled him to move to a research position at the Cavendish. He remained a Fellow of Trinity all his life.  

“I think that if I were to start again I should still try to be an applied mathematician, because the number of amusing activities to which mathematics can lead on is so great” (1952).


Events Calendar

December 2022
28 29 30 1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31 1

Events Archive (1980 - Present)


Discover our Journals & Books

From Darwin’s paper on evolution to the development of stem cell research, publications from the Society continue to shape the scientific landscape.


Join the Cambridge Philosophical Society

Become a Fellow of the Society and enjoy the benefits that membership brings. Membership costs £20 per year.

Join today