Sudoku and Mathematics, by Peter Cameron
In the Independent newspaper, the instructions for Sudoku say "There's no maths involved. You solve the puzzle with reasoning and logic." But, as any mathematician will tell you, maths is just reasoning and logic! There is indeed quite a lot of mathematics in Sudoku. In the lecture, I will explain some of the history, and show that mathematicians and statisticians could have invented Sudoku years before the retired architect Howard Garns actually did. Time permitting, I will also talk about a variant called Symmetric Sudoku invented by Robert Connelly, which is closely connected with error-correcting codes and finite geometry.