From Fourier to Lady Gaga: Mathematics of audio files

Video-Recording of the Christmas Lecture 2021

20 December 2021 12:30 – 00:00
Weihnachtsvorlesung 2021: links: Kupferstich des Mathematikers Joseph Fourier; rechts: Skizze der Sängerin Lady Gaga

Christmas lecture 2021: Mathematician Joseph Fourier (1768-1830) and Singer Lady Gaga

From Fourier to Lady Gaga. A mathematical journey through the world of audio files - that is the theme of the 2021 Christmas Lecture of the Department of Mathematics at the Technical University of Munich, given this year by Professor Gero Friesecke. The digital lecture was held in German, and appeared on the YouTube-channel of the Department of Mathematics on 20 December 2021 at 12:30, with a parallel live-chat. Moreover, you can watch the video right here:

Von Fourier bis Lady Gaga: Mathematik von Audiodateien (Weihnachtsvorlesung 2021)


For this year's Christmas Lecture, Gero Friesecke, Professor for Analysis, will take you on a mathematical journey from simple acoustic tones to Lady Gaga's sound from "Just Dance". Along the way, instead of numbers and vectors, he will add and decompose musical tones and sounds. Through musical examples, Gero Friesecke demonstrates some underlying mathematical principles developed - for completely different purposes - by Joseph Fourier, and acquaints you with fascinating aspects of storage and human perception of music. 

The lecture is open to the public and is intended for a broad, mathematically interested audience. If possible, use hi-fi headphones or loudspeakers in order to fully appreciate subtler differences between some sounds. 

We hope that many of you will join us for this lecture and wish you happy holidays!