# THE FIVE-PANEL MURAL

## in the

## Building For

## Mathematics and Oceanography

(The mural in the Mathematics and Oceanography Building at the
University of Liverpool - now home to the Department of
Mathematical Sciences - was designed by
John McCarthy when the building was constructed in 1961. The descriptive
text and images below have been transcribed from a brochure that
was produced to accompany the mural. To preserve the historical record,
the text has not been updated (but a few notes have been added where this
seemed appropriate). Many thanks to Shirley Farrell who transcribed
the text of the detailed descriptions.)

The five panels on the South Wall of the Entrance Hall depict the
growth of mathematical ideas, and some of the fields of science,
engineering and technology in which these ideas have been used and
developed.

The topic is a vast one, for the growth of mathematics and its applications
mirrors the history of mankind and civilisation.

There are two main branches of mathematics - pure mathematics and applied
mathematics. Though no precise dividing line can be drawn between them
they may be defined roughly as follows: - Pure mathematics is the
body of knowlesdge and ideas arising from the study of the concepts of
number, space and variation, and the logical developments which
have sprung from this study. Applied mathemaatics is an interweaving
of the ideas of pure mathematics with those which have grown out of
many branches of science, engineering and technology.

Panel A is the principal one and is entitled "The New Era"; it draws attention
to some of the more important rapidly growing fields in
pure and applied mathematics. Many of the great forward strides
which have been made in the 20th century in science, engineering and
technology result from the use of mathematics on a scale previously
unknnown.

The other panels illustrate the growth throughout the ages of ideas
which have contributed to the developments depicted in panel A; the titles
of these subsidiary panels are :-

**B.** The Development of Measurement,

**C.** The Recording of Time,

**D.** The Influence of Greece and Rome,

**E.** From Rome to the 19th Century.

The following notes are intended to serve as guides to the ideas
underlying the five panels.

October, 1961

(Click each image to see the detailed description.)