Soccermatics- Professor David J T Sumpter

6.30-7.30pm, Thursday 19th October 2017 (with coffee and registration from 6pm)

Picture to be used for Ollerenshaw lecture

Registration for the 2017 Dame Kathleen Ollerenshaw Public Lecture is now open. Please note that registration will close at 5pm on Tuesday 17th October 2017, and we are unable to accommodate further requests after this deadline. 


Please note: the Lecture will now take place in Lecture Theatre B (not A as originally advertised) in University Place.

Lecture Theatre B, University Place, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, M13 9PL


Professor David Sumpter is a Professor of Applied Mathematics. He studied for his PhD in Manchester under David Broomhead and made his way to Sweden in 2007.

David is particularly interested in looking at collective animal behaviour including fish, birds and ants. Working with experimentalists, Sumpter and colleagues have developed models to describe the general characteristics of collective behaviour. They have also turned their attention to serious social issues including education, health and sustainability as a way to help the policy-makers.

Professor Sumpter is a popular science writer and over 7,500 people follow his twitter page @Soccermatics. 


Soccermatics: how mathematics is changing the beautiful game.

Football is not only the most beautiful of sports, but it is also the most mathematical. From shot statistics and league tables to the geometry of passing and managerial strategy, the modern game is filled with numbers, patterns and shapes. I decided to find out how we make sense of all these numbers.

Using my skills as an applied mathematician, I dissected the modern game, finding analogies between football and biology. I showed looked at how the Barcelona midfield linked geometrically in the same way as a slime mould, I looked at the similarity between an ant colony and Total Football, Dutch style, I thought about what Bayerns defenders could learn from lionesses, I studied how much of Fergie’s success at Manchester United was luck and how much was skill, and I investigated how you can use probability theory make you money at the bookies.

 The result was the book Soccermatics. I will talk about the book, the maths and science behind teamwork, and how writing it resulted in me meeting with Premier League clubs to talk about how they can use mathematics to improve performance. 


6.00 pm                Registration and Coffee

6.30 pm                Introduction to the Lecture

6.35 pm                Lecture by Professor David Sumpter- Soccermatics

7.25 pm                Closing Remarks

7.30 pm                Wine Reception

8.30 pm                Close


To request a space for the event, please register your interest here.

Many Thanks to the generosity of Dame Kathleen Ollerenshaw for the donation of funds to our School 


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