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Hannah Fry


In your book you explore everything from the odds of finding your soulmate to the equation that explains the conversation patterns of lasting relationships - but what is the perfect date night outfit?

You obviously want to look super hot, but also look like you haven’t really tried. I’m always a big fan of jeans & heels, a plain tee and nice jacket in that scenario.


Now that you have come up with the winning formula to finding love, what’s next for Dr Hannah Fry?

Lots! Currently filming a series for BBC2 and have a few more exiting telly projects coming up in the new year. Also get to teach my undergraduate students starting in January & hopefully find time to do some proper maths in between.


What is your top tip to unwind?

Umm. Gin works pretty well for me...


What is the best advice you have ever been given?

“The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried.”


What would you tell your 18 year old self?

I’d tell her that she shouldn’t allow herself to be intimidated by other people. I’ve come to realise that most people don’t know what they’re doing most of the time, and the ones who shout the loudest are often the ones who are most fearful of being found out.

I’d also tell her to be a bit more of a rebel! I was way too much of a goody two-shoes...


We think female friendships are something that should be treasured and celebrated. What quality do all your friends share?

They’re all friends with me! And they’re all smart, funny and impressive in their own right.


Fantasy Girls’ Night Out. You get to choose six women – dead or alive – to spend the evening with. Who? And where do you go?

1. Nicki Minaj, just so I can tell her that I think she’s awesome: she has worked incredibly hard to achieve success in a male dominated industry, isn’t afraid to call out everyday sexism, and regularly tells young girls how important it is for them to stay in school  

2. Ada Lovelace, mathematician, prophet of the computing age and total a badass

3. Elizabeth I, also a badass

4. Jane Austen, I just want to show her that clip of Colin Firth in the lake & see her reaction

5. Marylin Monroe, still a major girl crush of mine. Don’t pretend it wouldn’t be cool to meet her

6. Sophie Germain, a very impressive French Mathematician born in the late 1700s. She should have her name inscribed along the first tier of the Eiffel tower alongside those of 72 scientists and architects whose work contributed to its creation, but hers wasn’t included because she was a woman (would also like to see her reaction to Colin Firth clip!)


Book you wish you’d written?

Fermat’s last theorem by Simon Singh. I’ve read that book 20 times and I still can’t get enough of it. I first came across it when I was 15 and credit it as a major contributing factor for wanting to be a mathematician – it was the first time I realised how powerful and profound a mathematical view of the world could be. But I’m not the only one! I think that book probably inspired a whole generation of mathematicians...


Film you’d like to see a sequel of?

Police Academy VIII.


What are you listening to at the moment?

I saw Carmen at the Royal Opera house and it was so blumming spectacular that I haven’t stopped listening to it since.


Best holiday destination?

I went to the Seychelles on my honeymoon – that was pretty special. Would love to do that again.


Sunrise or sunset?

Sunset. Sunrise doesn’t go as well with gin.


Spring or autumn?

Autumn. Cosy evenings, big wooly jumpers and mulled wine. Can’t ask for much more.


When was the last time you laughed out loud?

My dog stacked it fairly spectacularly in the park earlier today, which – as soon as we were sure she wasn’t hurt – we found extremely amusing.


What word do you overuse?

“Literally”. I know I shouldn’t, but I literally can’t help it.


Guilty pleasure?

Watching dog rescue videos on youtube. Especially the Hope for Paws ones. I can literally* waste a full day binge watching that channel.

* I did that one deliberately.


What is the one thing that people would be surprised to know about you?

That I have a phobia of unvarnished wood. Ok, maybe phobia is a bit strong, but I really, really don’t like it. You know those sticks that people stir their coffee with in Starbucks? If I see someone licking it I practically go into meltdown. 


Dr Hannah Fry, is a maths lecturer at University College London, public speaker, science presenter and author of the book 'The Mathematics of Love'.

Tags: women we loveinterview
Posted on 07th January 2016 by Hush

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