Public News

Professor John Toland gives the Brooke Benjamin Lecture in Fluid Dynamics

On Wednesday 27 November Professor John Toland from the Issac Newton Institute in Cambridge will give the Seventh Brooke Benjamin Lecture entitled "the fascination of what's difficult: Mathematical aspects of classical water wave theory from the past 20 years.'

Brooke Benjamin believed that mathematical proofs and data from carefully designed and executed experiments were two pillars upon which scientific progress rests. He made distinguished contributions to both.

Experimental observations about steady water waves have famously challenged mathematicians since Stokes and Scott-Russell in the 19th century and modern methods of global analysis are inadequate to answer the simplest of questions raised by careful numerical experiments in the 20th century.

This lecture concerns mathematical advances that have emerged since Brooke's untimely death in 1995 and elucidates important challenges that remain to the present day. Find out more.

Autumn with Marcus Du Sautoy

Plenty of opportunities to see Marcus in action this autumn:

His new play X&Y in now on in London before moving to Manchester. Marcus will also will be appearing at the Serpentine Gallery 89plus Marathon in London in October and at the Prince's Teaching Institute Residential for Maths Teachers in Cheshire in November as well as talking at Blackwell's Bookshop in Oxford on 17 October as part of Blackwell's Freshers Week Talks.

And as a (rationalist) Christmas treat he will be appearing at Nine Lesson and Carols for Godless People in December at London's Bloomsbury Theatre.

Want to study mathematics at Oxford? Watch our new film

Watch Oxford Mathematicians, from students to teachers, discuss the study of this most beautiful and powerful of subjects. The film explains how to apply, the choices available, your day-to-day mathematical life including the tutorial system and your college life, and the world of opportunities that a maths degrees opens up.

Six Oxford Mathematicians are invited to speak at the ICM 2014

The scientific programme of the International Congress of Mathematicians 2014 has been announced. Many congratulations to Ben Green and Jonathan Pila who have been invited to give two of the plenary lectures, and to Konstantin ArdakovDavid Conlon, Terry Lyons and Tom Sanders who have been invited to give section lectures. The ICM 2014 will take place in Seoul, Korea, August 13-21.

Steve Shkoller and John Wettlaufer receive Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Awards

The Royal Society, the UK’s national academy of science, has announced the appointment of 22 new Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award holders. Professors Steve Shkoller and John Wettlaufer from Oxford Mathematics were among the awardees, Steve for his analysis of moving free-boundary problems in fluid dynamics and John for his work on applicable physical mathematics at the interface.

Marcus Du Sautoy lecturing in Oxford today and tomorrow (05 and 06 September)

Marcus Du Sautoy, Charles Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford, is delivering a series of filmed public lectures today and tomorrow, 05 and 06 September, in the new Mathematical Institute building in Oxford covering a range of mathematical themes. The talks are targeted at a general audience and students keen to pursue mathematics at university. A few places remain. Please contact Dyrol Lumbard (lumbard [-at-] maths [dot] ox [dot] ac [dot] uk).

Thursday 05 September, 13.00-14.30. The Music of the Primes: a talk about the Riemann Hypothesis and primes

Thursday 05 September 15.00-16.30. Symmetry: a talk based on his second book, 'Finding Moonshine'

Friday 06 September 13.00-14.30. The Secret Mathematicians: the connections between maths and the arts

Friday 06 September 15.00-16.30. The Irrational, the chaotic and incomplete: the mathematical limits of knowledge

Please note these lectures will be video-taped to air on a Japanese public television station (NHK) this autumn. By attending these lectures, you are giving NHK your consent to possibly appear on this television programme without any compensation or credit.

X&Y: Marcus Du Sautoy writes and performs his new play in London's Science Museum

Marcus Du Sautoy is passionate about the connection between the Arts and the Sciences. In their new show in London's Science Museum from 10-16 October 2013, Marcus and Victoria Gould use mathematics and the theatre to navigate the known and unknown reaches of our world.  What is the shape of the universe? Is it finite or infinite? Does it have an edge?

Oxford's new mathematics building to be named 'the Andrew Wiles Building'

The University of Oxford's new mathematics building will be named the Andrew Wiles Building, in line with the wish expressed by the principal benefactors at the time of their original gift in 2005, and in celebration of one of Oxford's most distinguished mathematicians.

Professor Sir Andrew Wiles, KBE, FRS, read mathematics at Merton College, Oxford, coming up in 1971. He went on to do his PhD under John Coates at Cambridge before moving to Princeton, first to the Institute for Advanced Study and then as a Professor at Princeton University. He was in Oxford as a Royal Society Research Professor from 1988 to 1990, and returned again to Oxford in 2011 to a Royal Society 2010 Anniversary Chair. He was knighted in 2000.

Andrew Wiles has made huge contributions to number theory, starting with his work on the arithmetic of elliptic curves with John Coates and on Iwasawa Theory over the rational numbers with Barry Mazur. But above all, he is known for his proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem, published in 1995.

The asteroid formerly known as 4196 T-2 is also named in his honour.

Tears of Happiness - combining mathematics and art to highlight dry-eye syndrome

Dry- eye syndrome affects millions of people around the world. Caused by a decrease in the quantity and quality of tears, it leads to discomfort, dryness, a burning sensation in the eyes and even a loss of sight.

‘Tears of Happiness’ is the brainchild of Dr Vladimir Zubkov, researcher in the Oxford Centre for Collaborative Applied Mathematics (OCCAM), part of Oxford Mathematics. Vlad’s idea was to combine mathematics and art to focus on sufferers of the syndrome. Vlad has spent the last two years working in the field, modelling the syndrome and its potential solutions.

His inspiration was a fine art competition based on the themes of dry-eye syndrome. Over 800 artworks from around the world including Russia, Finland, USA, Argentina, and India have been submitted.  

Vlad says: “My collaborator, Professor. Anthony Bron from Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology in Oxford, told me a lot of interesting facts about human tears. For example a child does not produce tears during the first few months of its life. And during childhood we blink several times less that when we are adults. But the fact that amazed me the most is that crying is good for us! Tears are incredibly good for our eyes, something we should be happy about. Above all I hope that my research work will enable us to understand better how to treat dry-eye syndrome and that in particular this competition will shine a light on the issue”.

Details of the competition and some of the entries can be found at


Balazs Szendroi awarded Royal Society Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship

Balazs Szendroi, University Lecturer in Mathematics and Fellow of St Peter's College, is one of seven newly appointed Royal Society Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellows. The award will enable Balazs to pursue his research into cohomological Donaldson-Thomas theory: structures and examples.

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