The Mathematical Institute is the centre for mathematical activity at the University of Oxford. It is one of ten departments under the Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Divisional Board.
The history of mathematics at Oxford is described in Oxford Mathematics and Mathematicians, the text of a lecture by the late I. W. Busbridge and the Oxford Figures book by John Fauvel, Raymond Flood and Robin Wilson. References to current members of the Institute can be found in Oxford Mathematicians in the Public Eye.
Whilst it is usual for mathematics departments in Britain to be split into departments of Pure and Applied Mathematics, the unitary Oxford structure, which encourages numerous strong interactions between the different groups, is regarded as a major factor in the continued high reputation enjoyed by Oxford Mathematics.
The Mathematical Institute is currently on three sites (see the map for details) although there is an ongoing project to bring the entire department back together in a single building on the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter site in the near future.
The members of the Institute include more than 150 graduate students, professors, readers, other members of staff and academic visitors. The head of the department is
Members of the department who are Fellows of the Royal Society include John Ball, Bryan Birch, Philip Candelas, Ian Grant, Roger Heath-Brown, Nigel Hitchin, Dominic Joyce, Frances Kirwan, Ioan James, Terry Lyons, John Ockendon, Roger Penrose, Graeme Segal, Ulrike Tillmann, Nick Trefethen .
Research is carried out in a wide variety of fields including algebraic, differential and general topology, group theory and other branches of algebra, number theory, mathematical logic, functional analysis, harmonic analysis, algebraic and differential geometry, differential equations, probability theory and its applications, combinatorial theory, global analysis, mathematical modelling, mathematical biology, ecology and epidemiology, continuum mechanics, elasticity, applied and fluid mechanics, magnetohydrodynamics and plasmas, quantum theory, atomic and molecular structure, quantum theory and field theory,string theory, relativity and mathematical physics, applied analysis and materials science.
Students wishing to do research in the Mathematical Institute may apply either to become a probationary DPhil student or to take an MSc course.
There are over 100 students studying taught MSc courses, in Mathematical Modelling and Scientific Computing, Mathematical and Computational Finance, Mathematics and the Foundations of Computer Science, and in Computation as well as in Applied Statistics. Teaching for the first three of these is shared between the Mathematical Institute and the Computing Laboratory, whilst the other courses are the sole responsibility of the Computing Laboratory and the Department of Statistics respectively.
The MSc in Mathematics and the Foundations of Computer Science is designed to provide students with a solid grounding in advanced pure mathematics, mathematical logic, and the mathematical and logical foundations of computer science.
The MSc in Mathematical Modelling and Scientific Computing is a one year course and is to train graduates with a strong mathematical background to develop and apply their skills to the solution of real problems.
The Institute's reputation continues to attract graduate students of the highest calibre from overseas as well as from the UK. It admits approximately 40 research students to read for the D.Phil. in Mathematics each year. Research groups organise graduate lectures in their own areas, and the arrangement of supervision of their research students is co-ordinated by the Institute's Director of Graduate Studies.