Public News

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.

New Building Construction: Progress Update 46


Cranes & Folk Lifts:- Fork lifts will assist with final clear away tasks.

Entrance:- The Gate 7 access has been reopened to vehicles and segregated pedestrian path.

Recent Works

Entrance:- Remaining final finishes.

Cladding:- Units left out for access (including crystal glass) have now been closed up.

Glass Atrium Roofs:- Complete with snagging.

Reconstituted Stone & Brise Soleil:- External Brise Soleil installations (louvred sun shade) are complete.

Ground Crystals: Complete with snagging.

Architectural Metalwork:- Hand in area posts. Column casings.

Waterproofing & Flat Roof:- Decking. Sedum replanting.

Mechanical & Electrical:- Commissioning has tested and balanced each system.

Internal Fitout:- North block snagging. The south building has had cleaning activities and final finishes being closed out.

Lecture Theatres:- All lecture theatres are largely installed.

Joinery:- Final finishes and snagging

External Works:- The main entrance road has been tarmaced with barriers. Penrose paving is ongoing. Gate 5 pavement crossover will be carried out once OCC permission has been granted.

Basement:- Largely finished.

Inspections:- As areas become complete, sections are being made available for inspections.

Recent Site Photos

New Building Construction: Progress Update 45


Cranes & Folk Lifts:- An occasional mobile crane will be brought in when required (incl. w.c. 29/7/2013).

Entrance:- The pedestrian and vehicle entrance has been moved from Gate 7 to the rear on Walton Street whilst final tarmac operations are carried out along the main access road.

Familiarisation:- A timetable at the end of July is in progress for system familiarisation.

Visits:- The final monthly Department tour took place on 19/7/2013.

Future works for July/August

Entrance:- Remaining final finishes to conclude.

Cladding:- Units left out for access (including crystal glass) have now been closed up.

Glass Atrium Roofs:- Complete with snagging ongoing.

Reconstituted Stone & Brise Soleil:- External Brise Soleil installations (louvred sun shade) are complete.

Ground Crystals: Mainly installed with remaining finishes to complete.

Architectural Metalwork:- Roof terrace balustrade glass is ongoing.

Waterproofing & Flat Roof:- Decking will follow balustrading.

Lifts:- The lift contractor Thyssen have installed all large lifts. Two platform lifts give access to the large and medium theatres and a stage lift to the large lecture theatre will give access to the stage.

Mechanical & Electrical:- Commissioning is ongoing that will test and balance each system.

Internal Fitout:- The north block is being desnagged. The south building is continuing upper level finals with furniture and shelving installation following closely behind.

Lecture Theatres:- All lecture theatres are largely installed with remaining finals to complete.

Joinery:- Timber balustrade panels installed to the south major atrium with finals to complete.

Smoke Curtains:- Smoke curtains have been installed in both the north & south atriums and entrance, with commissioning to complete. A smoke curtain, when deployed in the event of a fire, will direct smoke away from escape routes.

External Works:- Tarmac works are in progress along the main entrance road. Penrose paving is ongoing. Kerb laying and paving will now focus on remaining works to Gate 5.

Basement:- Largely finished with minor works to complete.

Inspections:- As areas become complete, sections are made available for inspections.

Recent Site Photos

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