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Geometry and Topology



Last chance to see in 4D

By Jason D Lotay, on 18 October 2015

It’s sad, I know, but the last Seeing in 4D workshop will be at 6-8pm on Friday 23 October in the Haldane Room at UCL.  Register for free for a fun evening of art and maths with Jason Lotay and artist Lilah Fowler, and take advantage of one final opportunity to learn about what the 4th dimension means through drawing, folding and making shapes.  There will be even be food and wine, so come along and enjoy it!

120 Cell_Stained Glass, July 2012

120 Cell: Stained Glass by artist Bec Greener

UCL Festival of the Arts

By Jason D Lotay, on 1 June 2015

I was happy to give another Seeing in 4D art and maths workshop on 22 May 2015 as part of UCL Festival of the Arts.

We have already had some excellent Clifford tori made by participants! Thanks to everyone who came along and made it a fabulous event.

Bianca Pascall's Clifford torus

We have a winner! @biancapascall with the first Clifford torus!

Jacqui Hamer's Clifford torus

A new twist on the Clifford torus – made of sinamay by Jacqui Hamer.

Nice attempt by @librarybody - with some beautiful models in the background!

Nice attempt by @librarybody – with some beautiful models in the background!

A nice and neat version by Alison Evans from UCL Centre for Languages & International Education

A nice and neat version by Alison Evans from UCL Centre for Languages & International Education


By Jason D Lotay, on 17 November 2014

Great board work!We have instigated a new idea at the KCL/UCL Geometry Seminar – the “pre-talk”.

It’s well-known  that most people attending a seminar understand at most the first ten minutes and then not much after that.  To combat this and, primarily, to make the seminar more user-friendly for PhD students at the new LSGNT, we have added a half-hour at the beginning of the seminar so that the speaker, or a relevant member of the Geometry groups at KCL or UCL, can give a more introductory-level discussion.

Whilst the use of this half-hour is completely up to the speaker, it has been typically been used to give something of an overview or context for the main talk.  This initial experiment has proven to be rather successful, allowing the speaker to give more motivation and speak on a more general level before diving into the details of their own result.

With research becoming ever more specialised, and the number of research directions being pursued in London ever-increasing, it seems to me to have been beneficial not just to the PhD students, but also to the postdocs and faculty.

So it seems as if “pre-talking” is here to stay!



G 2 Days 2014

By Jason D Lotay, on 18 May 2014

Solution of Hitchin flow from SO(3)-structure

UCL will be hosting a workshop on G2 geometry on 14-16 July 2014. The aim of the workshop is to bring together researchers working in  G2 geometry as well as in other related areas. The main themes of the meeting will be gauge theory and topology. The meeting will also include introductory talks for researchers interested in learning about the latest developments in this exciting subject.

The workshop is co-organised by Jason Lotay (UCL), Mark Haskins (Imperial) and Simon Salamon (King’s).  It follows an LMS-CMI research school An Invitation to Geometry and Topology via G2 at Imperial on 7-11 July 2014, organised by the same team.

The picture, due to Thomas Madsen (SNS, Pisa), illustrates certain solutions of Hitchin’s flow, which gives a method for constructing holonomy G2 metrics.

Make your own Clifford torus

By Jason D Lotay, on 22 March 2014

clifford paperThe Seeing in 4D workshop was a great success and Jason and Lilah would like to thank all the enthusiastic participants.

The final activity of the evening was to start to make a Clifford torus. Now it’s over to you to post a picture of your own version by Friday 28 March.

Be creative and embellish it however you like! Jason’s version was donated to W.K. Clifford‘s great-grandson, who put it on his Christmas tree!

(If you need a reminder of the instructions, check out the great webpage by Laszlo Bardos.)

Geometry is beautiful…

By Jason D Lotay, on 17 March 2014


There has long been a connection between geometry and art, and therefore between geometry, beauty and elegance.

Michael Singer (UCL) gave a great inaugural lecture on 5 March 2014 on “The aesthetics of shape”, explaining many instances of beautiful geometry, including:

  • Perspective in Renaissance art and the appearance of Platonic and other solids, including drawings by Leonardo da Vinci
  • Geometric tiling patterns in Moorish art in Spain
  • Hyperbolic geometry in the work of M.C. Escher
  • Describing 4-dimensional shapes in the 19th century, and their continued appearance in contemporary art including work of Bec Greener

This all ties in nicely with the “Seeing in 4D” workshop on Friday!

Helping to celebrate UK science

By Jason D Lotay, on 8 March 2014

NSEW Master Logo with 2014 dates_CMYKWe are very happy that our Seeing in 4D event is part of National Science & Engineering Week 2014.  National Science & Engineering Week  is a ten-day national programme of science, technology, engineering and maths events and activities across the UK aimed at people of all ages and runs from 14 to 23 March 2014. It is supported by the British Science Association.

Seeing in 4D: visualising and making shapes in 4 dimensions

By Jason D Lotay, on 7 March 2014


Clifford torus

How can we see in 4 dimensions?  What does the 4th dimension even mean?

On Friday 21 March 2014 (6-8pm, Grant Museum) there will be an interactive exploration of geometry in the 4th dimension through drawing, folding and making objects.  Come along and cultivate your artistic skills and learn about cutting-edge mathematics at the same time.


The workshop will be run by Jason Lotay and Lilah Fowler.  Jason is a mathematician at UCL working in geometry and Lilah is an artist whose work evokes geometric forms.

Sign up now at Eventbrite.   We are strictly limited to 20 spaces so get your ticket while you can.  There will also be free wine and food if you need further encouragement.