Jon Holt working his magic

Maths, magic and a bit of of superstition is what got the audience laughing at this afternoon’s So Random talk by Professor Jon Holt as part of the Cardiff Science Festival.

Prof Holt is the Global Head of Systems Engineering at Atego, a professor of engineering at Cranfield University, seasonal escapologist, refuter of all things pseudoscience and a magician.

This afternoon he combined magic and maths to show us how the astrologers, palm readers and all those other fortune tellers play tricks with numbers to baffle us with their predictions. By relating abstract mathematical ideas to those we understand, the masters of deception can use decks of cards to reveal what lies ahead.

Prof holt revealed that so much of what we experience in life is not a coincidence. By revealing the power of a Magic Square, we learned how little is actually truly random. Generating a random number is not easy, and fortune tellers can manipulate and influence you to pick certain ones.

“The show, and Jon in particular, were very engaging and funny!” was the response from many members of the audience. A truly inspirational and engaging speaker, Jon Holt is able to relate to people of all age groups. He is not only entertaining, but also a fantastic ambassador for STEM subjects.

Go to the orginal article here or listen below