Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Miguel Walsh wins the Ramanujan Prize

The 2014 Ramanujan Prize has been awarded to Miguel Walsh of the Mathematical Institute in the University of Oxford for his outstanding contributions to Ergodic Theory and Number Theory, including a proof of the norm convergence of multiple polynomial or nilpotent ergodic averages, a long-standing problem in ergodic theory, and important results in inverse sieve problems leading to a sharp bound on the number of rational points on curves.  

In March Dr Walsh was awarded a Clay Research Fellowship, which he takes up on July 1.  He will hold the fellowship in Oxford. 

The Ramanujan Prize is awarded jointly by the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Trieste, the Department of Science and Technology (Government of India) and the International Mathematical Union. More details can be seen on the ICTP website.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Mathematical Institute Teaching Awards announced

Congratulations and thanks to the following winners of the Mathematical Institute Teaching Awards:

Lifetime Teaching Awards: Prof. Karin Erdmann, Dr Jackie Stedall and Prof. David Stirzaker. 

Individual Teaching Awards: Prof. Peter Howell, Prof. Colin Macdonald, Prof. Michael Monoyios, Prof. Oliver Riordan and Prof. Paul Tod. 

The awards will be presented at the Undergraduate Welcome Party in the Michaelmas Term.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Oxford Mathematics Interviews: 'Extra Time: Professor Sir Roger Penrose in conversation with Andrew Hodges.'

These two films explore the development of Sir Roger Penrose’s thought over more than 60 years, ending with his most recent theories and predictions.

In the first film, Roger Penrose explains the impact of his time at Cambridge in the 1950s. The interview brings out his highly unconventional choice of subjects for deep study, which completely ignored the boundary between ‘pure’ and ‘applied’ mathematics. Those familiar with his world-leading development of relativity theory in the 1960s may be surprised to learn how much he was influenced by quantum theory in the 1950s, and also by the early origin of his new ideas.

Roger also explains the influence of Dirac, Sciama and other leading figures of the 1950s, and goes on to characterise the emergence of twistor theory. Non-experts will be interested to hear how the ideas of his best-known work, The Emperor’s New Mind, also had an origin in this early period. He also adds fascinating detail about the psychology of mathematical discovery, explaining how he was very slow at school, needing extra time to think issues through for himself. The mystery of time, in physics and human consciousness, runs through the entire conversation, and lights up even the most technical aspects of the discussion. 

In the second film, the emphasis shifts to the recent developments in Roger Penrose’s thought. He gives a very clear outline of his argument for Conformal Cyclic Cosmology as the correct description of the Big Bang. However,  the conversation turns once again to the precursors of these ideas in the 1950s, with new anecdotes about Dirac and the origin of Roger Penrose’s geometrical innovations.

Bringing the discussion up to the present moment, Roger describes the impact of recent observations of primordial magnetic fields and also addresses the significance of his own predictions for the form of ‘dark matter’. And in a closing segment, the discussion turns to the current discoveries in neurology and biophysics relevant to Roger Penrose’s theory of microtubules as advanced in Shadows of the Mind. The discussion ends tantalisingly with renewed speculation on the foundations of quantum mechanics and its relation to general relativity.

Roger concludes: "to me eternity is not such a long time."

Friday, 6 June 2014

Mason Porter wins 2014 Erdős–Rényi Prize

Associate Professor Mason Porter has won the 2014 Erdős–Rényi Prize. The prize is awarded to a selected young scientist (under 40 years old on the day of the nomination deadline) for their achievements in research activities in the area of network science, broadly construed. While the achievements can be both theoretical and experimental, the prize is aimed at emphasizing outstanding contributions relevant to the interdisciplinary progress of network science.

The prize awarding ceremony and lecture took take place in a special session at the conference portion of NetSci 2014 on Jun 2-6, 2014 in Berkeley California, at the Claremont Hotel and the Clark Kerr Campus of the University of California.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014
Sunday, 25 May 2014
Thursday, 15 May 2014

Oxford Mathematics Lectures: Professor Raymond Goldstein

Described by Alain Goriely as "a one-man scientific orchestra," Raymond Goldstein is Schlumberger Professor of Complex Physical Systems, Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, University of Cambridge and an internationally recognised leader in the fields of biological physics and nonlinear dynamics. In this engaging lecture, 'Animalcules Redux: the Fantastic World of Microswimmers', he focuses on biological fluid dynamics.


Monday, 12 May 2014
Monday, 12 May 2014

Inside the mind of a mathematician - the Quillen Notebooks

During his long mathematical career, Dan Quillen, Waynflete Professor of Pure Mathematics in Oxford from 1984-2006, kept a set of detailed notes which give a day-to-day record of his mathematical research.  His notebooks have been digitised in a project funded by the Clay Mathematics Institute (CMI) and made available to the mathematics community on the CMI website. Glenys Luke and Graeme Segal are working on cataloguing the material.  So far, the work has been completed up to the end of 1977.

Friday, 9 May 2014

The Andrew Wiles Building wins RIBA Award

The new Mathematical Institute here in Oxford is one of 11 buildings to have won an RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) South Regional Award 2014.

Images courtesy of Rafael Viñoly Architects, © Will Pryce