Public engagement

I am @VickyMaths1729 on Twitter.

I am the host of the Maths + Cancer podcast, in which I talk with amazing maths and stats researchers about how their work helps us to understand and tackle cancer, and about where their interest in the subject came from.

My new book, Why Study Mathematics?, was published by London Publishing Partnership in October 2020.

Photo of Why Study Mathematics? cover

My first book, Closing the Gap: the quest to understand prime numbers, was published by Oxford University Press in October 2017.

Photo of Closing the Gap cover

I give public lectures, and give talks and workshops in schools. I am Executive Director of PROMYS Europe, a summer programme for mathematically enthusiastic teenagers across Europe.

Radio and television

I have contributed to several programmes on BBC Radio 4 and BBC television. Links are below. Some (but not all) are available to listen/watch.

September 2022: guest on The Problem of Infinite Pi(e), an episode of The Curious Cases of Rutherford and Fry for BBC Radio 4.

February 2020: presented A Mathematician's Guide to Beauty for BBC Radio 4.

April 2019: presented A short history of nothing, a short film for BBC Ideas.

October 2018: guest on Magic Numbers: Hannah Fry's Mysterious World of Maths, shown on BBC Four.

September 2018: guest on Is there a better way to count...? 12s anyone?, a short film for BBC Ideas.

January 2018: guest on More or Less, talking about prime numbers and my new book Closing the Gap.

November 2017: guest on Broadcasting House.

June 2017: talked about prime numbers for the Election Free Zone on BBC Radio 4's PM programme.

December 2016: guest on Free Thinking on BBC Radio 3 for a discussion about attitudes to mathematics, and the new Science Museum Winton Mathematics gallery.

April 2016: interviewed by Tim Harford on More or Less about the UK Mathematical Olympiad for Girls and European Girls' Mathematical Olympiad.

March 2015: guest on Start the Week, discussion about 'The Mathematical Mind'.

November 2014: presented A History of Ideas, programme about the mathematics of beauty.

November 2014: guest on A History of Ideas, discussion about 'Why Are Things Beautiful?'.

September 2014: guest on In Our Time, programme about the number e.

July 2014: guest on The Infinite Monkey Cage, programme called 'Numbers Numbers everywhere'. To listen to the programme, follow the link, or listen to the extended podcast.

October 2012: guest on In Our Time, programme about Fermat's Last Theorem.

Videos and podcasts

Autumn 2022: I hosted six episodes of my new Maths + Cancer podcast.

Summer 2021: I made four one-minute videos, they are available collected together by Oxford Mathematics with a Bach soundtrack, with the title For the curious.

June 2021: I created a video for the Loughborough University LUMEN teacher CPD project about a visualisation in number theory.

April 2021: I was James Munro's guest on Season 2 Episode 0 of the Oxford Online Maths Club, sharing a number theory problem.

March 2021: I talked to James Grime about maths and symmetry of friendship bracelets for a MathsWorldUK video.

February 2021: together with colleagues from Oxford Maths and NRICH, I led a webinar on Maths Makes a Difference - Making Predictions in an Uncertain World, aimed at Year 12 students.

December 2020: Interview with Brady Haran for the Numberphile podcast.

November 2020: One of my lecture videos for the Oxford first-year course Analysis I, on convergence of sequences, was shared on the Oxford Mathematics YouTube channel.

January 2020: together with Lizzie Kimber, I led a webinar on modular arithmetic for the UK Mathematics Trust.

November 2019: Oxford Mathematics Newcastle public lecture on 😊 🤔 😔 😄 😕 😮 😍 in Maths.

July 2019: Oxford Mathematics Open Day talk on pure maths, through the lens of elliptic curves.

April 2019: presented A short history of nothing, a short film for BBC Ideas.

September 2018: guest on Is there a better way to count...? 12s anyone?, a short film for BBC Ideas.

October 2017: Oxford Mathematics public lecture on Closing the Gap.

September 2017: UK Mathematics Trust International Mathematical Olympiad Celebration Lecture on Closing the Gap.

2017: Interview for The Sense of Beauty, an Italian TV documentary series.

November 2016: I and a couple of Oxford colleagues made a short film about the mathematics of navigating the globe, inspired by two artefacts at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.

April 2016: Talk for the Millennium Mathematics Project on How to solve equations.

April 2016: Interview with Plus on some of the things I love about mathematics.

June 2015: Talk for the Millennium Mathematics Project on 7 things you need to know about prime numbers.

February 2014: I was interviewed for a podcast about the twin primes conjecture.

September 2013: London Mathematical Society public lecture on Addictive Number Theory.

2013: I was interviewed for a short film made by two Cambridge students, Anna Seigal and Richard Braham, called Imagining Things.


From visual to verbal - there's more than one way to understand maths for The Conversation, written with Lizzie Kimber.

The final piece of the puzzle for the OUP blog.

Riddle of the primes: why do they come in pairs? - a feature article for New Scientist (I'm afraid you might need a subscription to read the full article online).

Prime jewellery for issue 4 of Chalkdust magazine. You can see some pictures from that article on my mathematical craft page.

How to make mathematical Christmas cards - a guest post on Alex Bellos's Guardian blog.

Mathematics is beautiful (no, really) for The Conversation.

Maryam Mirzakhani's success showed us the challenges women in maths still face for The Conversation, following the tragic death of Maryam Mirzakhani.

I was interviewed by Ian Sample for his feature Magic numbers: can maths equations be beautiful? for the Guardian.

Cal Flynn wrote an article on What makes maths beautiful? for New Humanist magazine, with a brief quote from me.

I will be the President of the Mathematical Association in 2024-2025. I am deeply honoured to be following in the footsteps of so many eminent people.

I am a Trustee of MESME, Mathematics Education for Social Mobility and Excellence.

In 2019, I took part in the Big Internet Math-Off. In my first pitch, I shared my crochet versions of multiplication tables in modular arithmetic. My second pitch was about Euclid's algorithm, and including my knitted visualisation of the algorithm. My third (and, as it turned out, final) pitch was about my knitted scarves illustrating the distribution of prime numbers. I also contributed a pitch to the Big Lock-Down Math-Off.

I have a blog, Theorem of the week, aimed at people who are not expert mathematicians (although most of the posts in the last few years have been for my undergraduates).

I was one of the London Mathematical Society's Holgate Session Leaders from 2015 to 2017. I continue to visit schools and colleges to give talks and workshops, as part of my role at the University of Oxford. If you would like me to visit your school to give a talk or lead a workshop, please email me (address at the bottom of this page), although my diary gets booked up pretty quickly!

In the summer of 2013, I was one of the London Mathematical Society's two Popular Lecturers, and gave two lectures on "Addictive Number Theory". The second lecture was filmed and is available to watch online.

I used to be a volunteer with the United Kingdom Mathematics Trust (UKMT). I was on the UKMT Council/Board of Trustees. I was the founding Chair of the Enrichment Subtrust, and was a member of the British Mathematical Olympiad Subtrust. I was involved with helping with summer schools, maths circles, mentoring, presenting video solutions, leading a webinar on modular arithmetic, and various other bits and pieces.

I was on the organising committee of the European Girls' Mathematical Olympiad 2012, which was held at Murray Edwards College, Cambridge in April 2012. This was the inaugural competition, created as a joint venture between UKMT and Murray Edwards College. There are lots of photos on the EGMO 2012 Facebook page.

I have led masterclasses in various places round the UK as part of the Royal Institution series of maths masterclasses.

I spent almost two years working on Underground Mathematics, which was then called the Cambridge Mathematics Education Project, creating a website with free online resources for teachers and students of A-level Maths. They have loads of great resources (mostly not created by me)!

I have worked with NRICH, which has lots of interesting problems, games and articles for school students of all ages.

NRICH is, in turn, part of the Millennium Mathematics Project. I gave a couple of talks to school students for the MMP, and they put videos of them online: "7 things you need to know about prime numbers" and "How to solve equations". On the subject of videos, I also spent a few minutes talking to Plus about some of the things I love about mathematics.

The MMP also includes other projects such as Motivate, which organised videoconferences for schools; I took part in several of these. I also helped with MMP activities as part of the Cambridge Science Festival, and led workshops at events organised by the Further Maths Support Programme.

I have also contributed a couple of reviews for Plus: of Crafting by concepts and 17 Equations that changed the world.

While in Cambridge, I dreamed up and launched the Cambridge Maths Circle, with the help of many others (including the Millennium Mathematics Project and several members of the Cambridge Faculty of Mathematics).

I was one of the academic programme coordinators for the Cambridge Maths Sutton Trust summer school in August 2011, and gave several lectures and supervisions at the 2012 and 2013 Cambridge Maths Sutton Trust summer schools. I contributed to various other activities organised by the Cambridge Admissions Office and by Murray Edwards College, Cambridge.

This page last updated 6 January 2023.

Vicky Neale