The Maths of Coins and Currencies

People have used money – and made counterfeits - for thousands of years. Archimedes came up with a clever way of finding out if you’ve been cheated by a goldsmith. Making coins with the right proportions of the right metals presented a huge mathematical challenge for Fibonacci and other mathematicians in the middle ages. This lecture will discuss mathematical elements of coin design, denominations, and why former Gresham Professor of Astronomy Sir Christopher Wren favoured decimal coinage.

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Sarah Hart is the first woman Professor of Geometry at Gresham College, and was appointed in 2020. She is Professor of Mathematics and until recently was Head of Mathematics and Statistics at Birkbeck, University of London.

She studied at Oxford and Manchester, gaining her PhD in 2000. Postdoctoral research and teaching followed, including a prestigious Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Fellowship, before she was appointed to a lectureship at Birkbeck in 2004.


David Game College 31 Jewry Street London EC3N 2ET

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