News

Monday, 19 July 2004

Katerina Kaouri wins prize for best student talk

The prize for the best short talk in the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Student 2004 Symposium on a graduate research project was awarded to Katerina Kaouri, OCIAM, for her talk "Modelling Sonic Boom".

Tuesday, 29 June 2004

David Acheson awarded National Teaching Fellowship

David Acheson has been awarded a National Teaching Fellowship worth £50,000 in recognition of 'his outstanding contribution to learning and teaching'. He plans to use the award to attempt a breakthrough in the communication of mathematics, particularly to students who are about to start at university.

Monday, 21 June 2004

LMS Prizes

Congratulations to Roger Penrose on the award of the 2004 De Morgan Medal for `his many deep and important contributions to mathematical physics'. The citation describes Roger as `one of the really original thinkers of our time'.

Congratulations to Boris Zilber on the award of the Senior Berwick Prize for his paper "Exponential sums equations and the Schanuel conjecture." J. London Math. Soc. (2) 65 (2002).

Congratulations to Ulrike Tillmann on the award of a Whitehead Prize. Her citation describes her as `one of the world leaders in the study of the moduli spaces of algebraic curves'.

Congratulations also to Richard Jozsa on the award of the Naylor Prize. Richard, now at Bristol, was a graduate student of Roger Penrose in Oxford; and also to another Whitehead Prize winner and former Oxford student, Richard Thomas, now at Imperial College.

Monday, 21 June 2004
Monday, 24 May 2004

Professor Robin Wilson appointed as new Gresham Professor of Geometry

<p> The Council of Gresham College is pleased to announce that it has appointed Professor Robin Wilson as its new Gresham Professor of Geometry. </p> <p> Professor Wilson is well-known to Gresham College mathematics enthusiasts as he has given a number of lectures on mathematics and its history at Gresham College over the past four years. In response to the demand for such lectures, as Gresham Professor of Geometry, he will take his audiences on a journey through the entire history of mathematics from the earliest times up the present day. </p> <p> Professor Wilson's lecture series will begin this autumn and he will deliver six lectures a year for three years. His plan is to devote his three autumn lectures each year to the history of mathematics while other lectures will feature contemporary issues in mathematics. </p> <p> This coming autumn, he will illustrate a wide range of mathematical activity from Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, China, and the Mayan culture of Central America. Other lectures in winter 2005 will focus on some unsolved problems of mathematics. </p> <h3>Professor Wilson comments: </h3> <p> "Mathematics is, and has always been a central part of human culture, and I do not believe that one can fully understand the subject if it is separated from its historical roots. My proposed lectures are designed to support this conviction." </p> <p> "In order to provide variety, and to attract more diverse audiences, the two series for each year will have different emphases - the first concentrating primarily on historical and multicultural ideas and the second featuring mathematical topics of current interest." </p> <p> Professor Wilson succeeds Professor Harold Thimbleby whose Professorship ends in May. Previous Chairs of Geometry have included Henry Briggs (co-inventor of logarithms) and Robert Hooke (inventor of the microscope) in the seventeenth century, and more recently Sir Christopher Zeeman, Professor Ian Stewart and Sir Roger Penrose. </p> <p> Further details about Professor Wilson's lectures and events will be available on the Gresham College website at <a href="http://www.gresham.ac.uk">http://www.gresham.ac.uk</a> over the next few months. </p>
Saturday, 1 May 2004

The Faces of Science

Tsou Sheung Tsun is one of 100 scientists photographed as part of The Faces of Science aimed at making science attractive to a new generation of aspirational school children and students.

Friday, 26 March 2004

Team of Oxford Undergraduates Wins International Mathematical Modelling Competition

A team of three Oxford undergraduates has accomplished something extraordinary: Alex Frolkin, Frederick van der Wyck, and Stephen Burgess, all 3rd year straight maths students at Merton College, have been selected as one of the 7 Outstanding Winners and have been awarded the Institute for Operations Research and Management Science (INFORMS) Prize in the 2004 Mathematical Contest in Modelling (MCM) organized by The Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications (COMAP). Still more extraordinary, this was their first time competing in the contest which is typically dominated by institutions that have been training and entering teams for many years.

The MCM is a major international competition that is now in its 20th year of operation. This year there were nearly 600 entries from more than 10 countries. The contest took place over a 96 hour period from February 5th to the 9th. At the start of that period two open-ended mathematical modelling problems of real-world importance were revealed on a website. Teams then chose one of the two problems and worked round the clock with little or no sleep over the next four days to produce a written report describing the construction of a model and how analysis of the model yields a practical solution to the problem at hand.

Alex, Frederick, and Stephen demonstrated the versatility of their mathematical backgrounds by choosing Problem B, which deals with designing a more efficient system for the distribution of ride tickets at an amusement park in order to minimize time spent waiting in queues. They combined tools from statistics, computer simulation and mathematics to determine an optimal strategy. In the 96 hours of the contest they produced a paper good enough to be published in a journal! In fact, it will be published later this year in the UMAP Journal (a journal that emphasizes applied maths, modelling, and undergraduate research), along with the other winning entries from this year's contest.

The team was organized by Prof. Ulrike Tillmann (Merton College) and was coached by maths graduate student Jeff Giansiracusa (Merton College), who competed in the MCM several times as an undergraduate.

See also the official contest results.

Thursday, 25 March 2004

Michael Atiyah awarded Abel Prize

The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters has to-day awarded the Abel Prize jointly to Sir Michael Francis Atiyah and Isadore M. Singer.

Sir Michael Atiyah, OM, FRS, was elected to a Fellowship at St Catherine's College, Oxford, in 1961. He held the Savilian Chair of Geometry from 1963 to 1969. After three years at the Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton, he returned to Oxford and held a Royal Society Research Chair at the Mathematical Institute until 1990, when he left to become Master of Trinity College, Cambridge. Isadore Singer was a frequent visitor during Michael's long and distinguished Oxford career.

Thursday, 4 March 2004
Thursday, 19 February 2004

Marcus du Sautoy's diary is Radio 4 book of the week

<p> Marcus du Sautoy's diary for the Gulbenkian Foundation of what it is like to be a mathematician is book of the week on Radio 4. Marcus will be featured in the April edition of Esquire magazine as one of their 100 most influential people under the age of 40. </p>

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