Public News

Dr Chris Breward wins an Oxford University Impact Award

Congratulations to Dr Chris Breward who has won his award for promotion of the 'impact, engagement and exploitation agenda.' Chris has driven forward individual contacts with industry, notably Oxford Mathematics' relationship with BP as well as materially encouraging a wider culture of engagement. Chris also led, together with Professor Colin Please, our successful bid for the funding of a Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Industrially Focused Mathematical Modelling which will train the next generation of applied mathematicians to fill critical roles in industry and academia.

Professor Jon Chapman live on the One Show, Thursday 14th November

This Thursday, 14th November, BBC One's The One Show is broadcasting live from outside Balliol College in Oxford at 7pm, as part of a Children in Need special. The programme will be welcoming its team of rickshaw riders, five teenagers who are cycling 700 miles across the country, non-stop over eight days.To celebrate their achievement the show has collected a group of Oxford academics including Jon Chapman, Professor of Mathematics and its Applications, to answer some challenging questions (well, challenging in the loosest sense of the word) about travelling by rickshaw and the meaning of life.

Mat Chivers wins Oxford Mathematics Sculpture Competition

We are delighted to announce that the sculptor Mat Chivers has been selected as the winner of the Oxford Mathematics Sculpture Competition. The competition invited artists to propose, and eventually create, a substantial and artistically significant sculpture to be placed in the main entrance lobby of the new Mathematical Institute, the Andrew Wiles Building. 

Mat will join us for a 4-week artist residency, starting 18 November, to develop his final proposal. The final work will be inspired by, or connected to, a mathematical theme, concept or shape.

Oxford Mathematics undergraduate William Perry wins SET Best Mathematics Student prize

The Science, Engineering & Technology Student of the Year Awards (SET) are established as Europe's most important awards for science and engineering undergraduates. This year the Award for the Best Mathematics Student, judged by the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications and the London Mathematical Society, goes to William Perry, Keble College, University of Oxford, for Spin two-dimensional local field theories.

Jackie Stedall wins the British Society for the History of Mathematics 2013 Neumann Prize

The British Society for the History of Mathematics (BSHM) has announced the winner of the 2013 Neumann Prize. This prize, named after Oxford mathematician and past BSHM President Dr Peter Neumann, OBE, is awarded every two years for the best mathematics book containing historical material and aimed at a non-specialist readership.

The 2013 winner is Jackie Stedall, of Oxford University, for her book The History of Mathematics: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford, 2012). The nominating committee praised the book as ‘stimulating, very well written, and very suitable for the ‘general reader’, also containing many new and perceptive remarks about how to approach the subject'. The award was made at a joint BSHM–Gresham College meeting on 31 October.

The Secret Mathematicians - Marcus Du Sautoy's lecture now online

From composers to painters, writers to choreographers, the mathematician's palette of shapes, patterns and numbers has proved a powerful inspiration. Often subconsciously artists are drawn to the same structures that fascinate mathematicians, as they constantly hunt for interesting new structures to frame their creative process. Through the work of artists like Borges and Dalí, Messiaen and Laban, Marcus will explore the hidden mathematical ideas that underpin their creative output and reveal that the work of the mathematician is also driven by strong aesthetic values.

Colloquium on November 15 - Kazuya Kato

The Mathematical Institute and Oxford University Press announce the following colloquium:

Professor Kazuya Kato (University of Chicago)

Title: Heights of motives

Date and venue: 15 November, 4.30pm, Mathematical Institute

Abstract: the height of a rational number a/b (a,b integers which are coprime) is defined as max (|a|, |b|). A rational number with small (resp. big) height is a simple (resp. complicated) number. Though the notion height is so naive, height has played a fundamental role  in number theory. There are important variants of this notion. In 1983, when Faltings proved the Mordell conjecture (a conjecture formulated in 1921), he first  proved the Tate conjecture for abelian varieties (it was also a great  conjecture) by defining heights of abelian varieties, and then deducing Mordell conjecture from this. The height of an abelian variety tells how complicated are the numbers we need to define the abelian variety.  In this talk, after these initial explanations, I will explain that this height is generalised to heights of  motives (a motive is a kind of generalisation of abelian variety.) This generalisation of height is related to open problems in number theory. If we can prove finiteness of the number of motives of bounded height, we can prove important conjectures in number theory such as general Tate conjecture and Mordell-Weil type conjectures in many cases.

Colloquia are followed by a reception designed to give people the opportunity to have more informal contact with the speaker. A book display will be available at this time in the common room. The series is funded, in part, through the generous support of Oxford University Press.

The colloquia are aimed towards a general mathematical audience.

Professor Ian Lipkin to give the Annual Charles Simonyi Lecture - 08 November

Of microbes and men: tales of the small game hunter - Ian Lipkin

For this year’s Charles Simonyi Lecture on Friday 08 November we welcome Ian Lipkin the “World’s Greatest Virus Hunter” (Discover Magazine). Using his experience studying HIV/AIDS, SARS and pandemic influenza, Ian will review how bacteria, fungi and viruses cause illness, why new infections appear and the implications of the emerging field of microbiology.

Ian Lipkin is the John Snow Professor of Epidemiology, Professor of Neurology and Pathology, and Director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University. He was also the scientific consultant for the Steven Soderbergh film Contagion.

Ian Lipkin will be introduced by Marcus du Sautoy, Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at University of Oxford.

This event will take place in the Oxford Playhouse. To book please click here.

Dick James and shape-shifting metals

OxPDE Visting Professor Richard James has discovered a new shape-changing metal crystal, a prototype of a new family of smart materials that could be used in applications ranging from space vehicles to electronics to jet engines. Called a "martensite", the crystal has two different arrangements of atoms, switching seamlessly between them. The material was discovered by Dick and colleagues at the University of Minnesota as an outgrowth of joint work with Sir John Ball which identified certain mathematical relations which would potentially allow unusual patterns of microstructure.

 

Watch the video to find out more.

Tom Sanders wins the European Prize in Combinatorics

Congratulations to Tom Sanders for winning the prestigious European Prize in Combinatorics. The prize is established to recognise excellent contributions in Combinatorics, Discrete Mathematics and their Applications by young European researchers not older than 35. 

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