Public News

Roger Penrose at the Royal Institution

In October 2013, as the new Mathematical Institute opened, Roger Penrose gave a lecture at the Royal Institution talking about forbidden crystal symmetry in mathematics and architecture and its part in the Penrose tiling which adorns the entrance to the new building. Roger also took questions and answers about his work from the audience.

The Millennium Problems - films of the Clay Research Conference 2013

In October 2013 eminent mathematicians presented the latest thinking about some of the Millennium Problems as part of the Clay Mathematics Research Institute’s Annual Conference held here in the Andrew Wiles Building in Oxford. 

Peter Constantin (Princeton) addressed the Navier-Stokes Equations, Lance Fortnow (Georgia Institute of Technology) the P versus NP Problem, and Fernando Rodriguez Villegas (Austin) the Birch—Swinnerton–Dyer Conjecture.

Other contributions were talks by Edward Witten (Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton) on the Jones Polynomial of a Knot, Richard Thomas (Imperial College) on the work of Clay Research Awardee Rahul Pandharipande and Ingrid Daubechies (Duke) on Animation, Teeth and Skeletons. This last talk formed the link between the Clay Research Conference and the Opening Conference for the Andrew Wiles Building.

Architecture That Shook Oxford - the Andrew Wiles Building on film

As part of its 'Architecture That Shook Oxford' series Oxford Today, profiles the new Mathematical Institute, the Andrew Wiles Building. Dr William Whyte, Fellow of St John's College discusses both the building itself and what it says about the Oxford in the 21st Century.

Professor Frances Kirwan made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire

Congratulations to Frances Kirwan, FRS, who has been honoured in the 2014 New Year Honours for services to mathematics. Frances, who specialises in algebraic and symplectic geometry, has been a Professor in Oxford since 1996, is a former President of the London Mathematical Society and is Chair of the United Kingdom Mathematics Trust.

Prime numbers - beauty and security

Watch Dr Richard Earl from Oxford Mathematics talk about prime numbers as part of the Christmas Science Lectures. Richard not only explains the intrinsic importance of prime numbers, but expands on their role in our everyday lives, notably their critical part in internet security.


Roger Penrose talks about his relationship with the Art of M C Escher

Sir Roger Penrose has a long-standing interest in and connection with M C Escher, the Dutch graphic artist best known for his mathematically inspired woodcuts and lithographs. Roger talks about a relationship that dates back nearly sixty years and also explains why art has been a consistent part of both his family life and his mathematics.


Roger Penrose explains the mathematics of the Penrose Paving

As you enter the new Mathematical Institute here in Oxford you are confronted with a pattern of beauty and intrigue. Designed by Sir Roger Penrose, Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics, and expanding on his discovery of almost thirty years ago, the Penrose Paving is constructed from just two different diamond-shaped granite tiles, each adorned identically with stainless steel circular arcs. There are various ways of covering the infinite plane with them, matching the arcs. But every such pattern is non-repetitive and contains infinitely many exact copies of what you see before you. 


A longer version, expanding on the mathematics is also available



Dr Christian Yates talks about the beauty and power of mathematical biology

Describing how he came to work in mathematical biology and his passion for the subject, Kit's interview can be heard this Thursday, 05 December, at 8pm on Radio Cardiff 98.7FM & and will then be available online as a podcast from pythagoras' trousers.

Oxford Mathematicians work with collaborators from across the world on photovoltaics


Dr Victor Burlakov and Professor Alain Goriely from Oxford, together with colleagues from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and the University of Toronto have been working on the automated synthesis of photovoltaic-quality colloidal quantum dots (CQDs) using separate nucleation and growth stages. CQDs need to be of high quality and narrow size distribution for the next generation of efficient solar cells and optoelectronics. The researchers' work features on the cover of the latest edition of ACS Nano where they report the scalable and automated synthesis of CQDs using a flow reactor and create dots that are on par in quality and photovoltaic device performance with the best small-scale batch synthesized CQDs.

Oxford Mathematics to train the next generation of mathematicians for industry and academia

Oxford Mathematics is delighted to announce that it is to host two of the newly created Centres for Doctoral Training (CDT) announced today by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Oxford Centre for Doctoral Training in Industrially Focused Mathematical Modelling

Oxford University’s Mathematical Institute has a long tradition of mathematical modelling and scientific computing. The CDT in Industrially Focused Mathematical Modelling, directed by Professor Colin Please and Dr Chris Breward, will train the next generation of applied mathematicians to fill critical roles in industry and academia. The students will become adaptable problem-solvers armed with a breadth of cutting-edge mathematical techniques and outstanding communication skills.

The Centre currently has 35 partner companies, spanning SMEs to multinationals, who are actively involved in designing, delivering and supporting the Centre’s training and research. After a first year of intensive training, the students will pursue a research project aligned with a company so that all aspects of CDT research have immediate impact. We have 11 fully funded studentships to award for a 2014 start. Four of these have no nationality restrictions and we welcome applicants from across the globe.

Oxford Centre for Doctoral Training in Partial Differential Equations

Partial differential equations (PDEs) are at the heart of many scientific advances. The behaviour of every material object in nature, with time scales ranging from picoseconds to millennia and length scales ranging from sub-atomic to astronomical, can be modelled by deterministic and stochastic PDEs or by equations with similar features. The role of PDEs within mathematics and in other sciences is thus fundamental and is becoming increasingly significant.  

This CDT's comprehensive research programme will enable students to learn theory, analysis and applications in a variety of fields in a coherent manner, with a natural progression, by-passing a traditionally separate 'pure' or 'applied' approach to learning.

The CDT, directed by Professor Gui-Qiang Chen (Director) and Professors Sir John Ball and Endre Süli (Co-Directors), will offer a 4-year D.Phil. programme with the central aim of producing highly trained, outstanding mathematicians with deep expertise and interdisciplinary skills in the analysis and applications of PDEs and related areas of core mathematics and its interfaces, who will help drive scientific advances over the next fifty years. 

We seek mathematics graduates with a first class degree or other evidence of outstanding potential. We also encourage highly motivated and mathematically capable students with a degree in the physical sciences and engineering to apply.  We have 10 fully funded studentships to award for a 2014 start; at least two of them have no nationality restriction.

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