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  • Yes, I am the mathematician who's going to get you so laid.

  • (Laughter)

  • And to begin I need you to stare at this equation.

  • I mean, there's your first orgasm right there, I know it.

  • But these are very sophisticated equations

  • that model a successful marriage.

  • And they're ground breaking equations

  • because it was the first time that truly sophisticated mathematics

  • was used in the field of romance.

  • And they predict with 95% accuracy rate

  • whether newlyweds will be together in six years time.

  • And you can see there's the "W" for wife

  • and the "H" for husband.

  • So, they modeled newlyweds talking about areas of contention

  • like the in-laws or money.

  • And then they modeled the responses

  • according to how each partner was responding to the other.

  • Body language as well.

  • And what came out was this interesting influence factor

  • at the end there,

  • which actually revealed that couples

  • that responded the least to each other

  • had a better chance of a successful marriage.

  • So that means -- (Laughter)

  • I see some people are like, "We knew that."

  • So, couples that compromised the least

  • ended up being together the most.

  • This was very interesting

  • because a lot of therapy has been based on empathy.

  • And you laughed before,

  • so maybe you don't say when you partner comes home,

  • "Yes darling, I know. Let me rub your feet and fix you a martini."

  • Because what they've actually found is that might not be the best way forward.

  • Maybe the best way, or the mathematics revealed,

  • that having high standards and finding ways to reach

  • for those standards is in fact the way to go.

  • So mathematics is the study of patterns.

  • All the symbols that you see are in fact patterns.

  • You know, encapsulating patterns.

  • And we're very used to seeing

  • mathematics being used in physics and engineering.

  • That's just because it's been there the most.

  • You know, E equals mc squared. That's so early 1900's.

  • There's actually been an evolution.

  • Since the 80's we've seen mathematics venture

  • into stock market analysis, risk analysis that was new.

  • And then since the 1990's or 2000's even

  • we're seeing mathematics enter into the sometimes called Softer Sciences

  • like psychology, sociology, anthropology, biology.

  • New mathematics appears every day.

  • I brought in a few just to remind you of how that works.

  • Here's some latest research.

  • This is looking at antibiotic use

  • and how to implement antibiotics for tuberculosis

  • while getting the patient healthy,

  • but making sure that we avoid antibiotic resistance.

  • That came out a couple of weeks ago.

  • And this is looking at how an opinion spreads through a population.

  • And when will you have the coexistence of several opinions, or one big consensus.

  • One of my favorites, it's older but I couldn't resist.

  • This one's from 2009 and this is how to create the perfect chocolate.

  • One that melts in your mouth but not in your hand.

  • And yes, these are very sexy equations, I'm sure you'll agree.

  • Mathematics is absolutely everywhere these days; it's being used everywhere.

  • It really is no surprise

  • that now we're seeing the equations for love.

  • Now, love sucks. I know you all know that.

  • Because, yes, you're excited at first.

  • But then you're scared. Oh, my god. I haven't eaten.

  • You're sitting looking at your phone, "Please ring!"

  • Then they send you a two-word text.

  • And you're like, "Whoo-hoo! It's on like Donkey Kong."

  • (Laughter)

  • And so these equations look at which personality traits

  • are more likely to come together

  • to have a more stable companionship type love

  • because some people

  • they just end up being up and down continuously.

  • Imagine being in a relationship with Charlie Sheen.

  • That would be like well, unlike Donkey Kong

  • and also like this. (Laughter)

  • It gets a bit out of control -- mathematically quite fast.

  • So just to tell you, it's about

  • one thing to look out for is if your partner --

  • if you overestimate your partner's qualities.

  • So with partners we can behave a bit like proud parents.

  • "He's so smart. He's so sexy." Everyone's just staring at this guy like

  • (mumbling)

  • Anyway, (Laughter)

  • here's some more mathematics.

  • Now, men report, on average, having had sex with two to four times

  • as many women than women do men.

  • And this does not make sense.

  • (Laughter)

  • It doesn't. (Laughter)

  • I know you're all thinking, "But what about prostitutes?"

  • "But what about my ex? He's slept with everybody."

  • No, every time a man has sex with a woman --

  • there are averages for other things --

  • But in a large enough sample space

  • it's going to be about the same, not off like this.

  • So here's an example.

  • Here's Charlie Sheen. He's had sex with everyone.

  • (Laughter)

  • Then the next guy, only one. One, one, one.

  • And that forces, you see, the outcome for the women.

  • The first one's had one. The others have had 2 partners each.

  • And 2, 4, 6, 8, 9. 9 divided by 5

  • and on the right 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. 9 divided by 5.

  • Every time a man has sex with a woman

  • it's adding to the general tally of both sides.

  • Now, why is this discrepancy?

  • Because the surveys are confidential and non-identifying,

  • it turns out, if you ask about kinky things, people are very honest.

  • (Laughter)

  • What we've turned to is we think it's counting strategy.

  • Because if you enumerate you'll be prone to an underestimation.

  • If you approximate you'll be prone to an overestimation.

  • So it seems women are going, "Justin, Brad,

  • the guy with the sexy biceps. The end."

  • And men are going, "20 a year for the last 5 years."

  • (Laughter) You know.

  • My favorite clue in all the data

  • was that 80% of men's results were divisible by 5.

  • (Laughter)

  • So, of course the mathematicians are like, "Yeah, no, you're lying."

  • (Laughter)

  • Back to some more waves.

  • Of course, there are waves in women's hormones.

  • And these equations look at what kind of mechanism is in a woman's body --

  • how does your body know 28 days have gone by?

  • And it's based on understanding why women have all their immature eggs

  • at birth ready to go.

  • We hear so much about women's hormones,

  • so I've brought in men's as well.

  • These are --- (Laughter)

  • These are real. I'm not making them up.

  • These model the relationship between the brain and the testes

  • as the fluctuation happens during the day.

  • (Laughter)

  • I promise these are real.

  • Testosterone, for example, has a peak in the morning.

  • And a slump in the evening.

  • But there's actually a mini testosterone peak

  • every 2 to 2.5 hours in between.

  • So, you know what that means. Especially women.

  • If you ask a guy a favor and he's not responding

  • just wait half an hour and ask again, just try and --

  • (Laughter)

  • just try and get that slump moment.

  • It's got its purposes.

  • Though the peak has another purpose as well.

  • Yes, this is all great fun and I could carry on with fun maths

  • and sex problems for hours.

  • But ultimately, what I'm about is our amazing brain

  • and the impact of abstract thinking and the power of abstract thinking.

  • And so let me turn things a little bit around on you and say,

  • What do you think happens if you think about sex

  • before doing mathematics?

  • Because it's actually not super distracting.

  • You'll actually become better

  • at doing certain types of brain processes.

  • It turns out there's two fundamental types of brain processes.

  • You either think globally or locally.

  • Forest or trees.

  • And when you're solving a problem,

  • you often start with the global kind of analysis

  • and then you have to dig in deep and follow leads to solutions.

  • It turns out that we're now seeing with the latest research

  • that this is linked to creative versus analytical thinking.

  • And more than that we're finding

  • that it's actually very easily manipulated.

  • So, if you get people to think about love and then solve problems

  • they'll be better at the globalization,

  • the beginning, the creative part.

  • And if you get people to think about sex

  • they get better at the process part of the problem solving.

  • Easy as that.

  • And here's the bigger question that interests me.

  • What is this thing called mathematics

  • that's only been going for about 2,000 years

  • that popped up independently across the world

  • that so many people swear they can't do?

  • See, there's something that's not quite reconciling there.

  • You can't have something that's developed so recently

  • with some people just having an extra brain bit.

  • No, that doesn't make sense. It's about finding those right triggers.

  • Here's a school report card of mine

  • in French.

  • My parents are these wild, wild travelers always looking for wild parties.

  • I'm actually the conservative offspring of some crazy wild people.

  • As you see, we lived in Cannes, whatever. Great parties there.

  • But more importantly, you can see two out of 20 for mathematics.

  • And my best result was 15 for Travaux Manuels et Technique.

  • which is woodwork.

  • (Laughter)

  • So it's very clear to me what life is like without mathematics.

  • Once I found mathematics at 18 when I came to Australia,

  • it was the first time that I was connecting to something pure,

  • to something that was so amazing.

  • You see, pattern recognition

  • is right at the core of the animal kingdom.

  • You see, even reptiles recognize

  • whether it's something to eat, fight or have sex with.

  • Even a jellyfish knows which way is up and which way is down.

  • Now the seeds of the number concept

  • are also very much part of the animal kingdom.

  • A pack of animals will recognize

  • whether another pack is greater than theirs.

  • And you can actually teach a rat to press a lever

  • an approximate number of times to get food.

  • Now, you see how I the word approximate.

  • That's because the rat doesn't have self-awareness or a linguistic ability

  • to capture, tame those innate sensations.

  • So if the rat is just tapping three times 1, 2, 3 -- it will kind of get it right.

  • But once it gets to 16, the poor little rat is tapping away

  • it doesn't know where it's reaching. And it's the same with us.

  • If you do an experiment where we can't count out

  • we'll make exactly the same mistakes as the rat.

  • We went further.

  • We went to things like 2 + 5 = 5 + 2.

  • I can swap the order of things and still reach the same result.

  • We went further still.

  • A + B = B + A

  • I can substitute any of the infinite number of numbers

  • that I'm now aware of in that formula and it means the same thing.

  • You see, language is more than just naming things.

  • With it, we also got cause and effect and temporal reasoning.

  • Mathematics is our most precise use of this syntactical understanding.

  • Because with mathematics at each step that you're creating

  • the pattern linking discovery, there's no ambiguity.

  • It is very precise what you're doing at each step,

  • what is in each classification. True or false. That's it.

  • In the box or outside the box. It's very clear, ultimate precision.

  • And that is why mathematics is so powerful

  • and being used more often right through to sex.

  • And that's why it's so hard because you're using

  • the limits of our evolution right to their extreme.

  • We're using, we're taming those innate sensations

  • with the most ultimate precision we can.

  • Mathematics as you can see, it's just ---

  • what's so breath taking is that it emerged independently across the globe.

  • And when people came together in peace or war

  • they may have clashed when it came to religion, cultures, languages,

  • but their mathematics, or pure pattern recognition just meshed.

  • You see, mathematics lies right at the roots of humanity.

  • Like sex, it transcends human culture.

  • And now that I've shared that with you,

  • you are the sexiest ladies in town.

  • (Laughter)

  • Thank you very much.

  • (Applause)