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



Johannes Ruf lecture at the Quantitative Methods in Finance 2013 Conference

Johannes Ruf will deliver the Bruti-Liberati Lecture at the Quantitative Methods in Finance 2013 Conference (17-20 December)

More information on the Conference can be found here

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.

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.

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