Sunday, 12 July 2015

Marcus du Sautoy made Doctor of Science of the University of South Wales

Oxford Mathematician and Charles Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science, Marcus du Sautoy, has received the award of Doctor of Science of the University of South Wales for his outstanding research record in mathematics and his exceptional contribution to the promotion of the public understanding of mathematics and science. He will receive the award on 13th July 2015.

Sunday, 5 July 2015
Sunday, 5 July 2015

Six Oxford Mathematicians win LMS prizes

Six Oxford Mathematicians are among the 2015 London Mathematical Society prizewinners. 

A Polya Prize was awarded to Professor Boris Zilber for his visionary contributions to model theory and its applications.

A Naylor Prize and Lectureship in Applied Mathematics was awarded to Professor Jon Chapman (pictured) for his outstanding contributions to modelling and methods development in applied mathematics.

Whitehead Prizes were awarded to the following:

Professor Peter Keevash for his work in combinatorics, in particular his stunning proof of the existence of combinatorial designs for all parameters satisfying the obvious necessary conditions, 

James Maynard for his spectacular results on gaps between prime numbers. He simplified and extended the work of Zhang on bounded gaps between primes, then made the most substantial advance on how large the gap between consecutive primes can be for 75 years, in particular answering a 10,000 dollar conjecture of Erdos.

Professor Mason Porter in recognition of his outstanding interdisciplinary contributions and in particular to the emerging field of network science, where he has combined unique analysis of biological, social and political data sets with novel methods for community detection and other forms of coarse graining.

Professor Dominic Vella for his spectacular contributions to the modelling of instability and interfacial phenomena in fluids and solids.

In addition an Anne Bennett Prize was awarded to Oxford Mathematics Visiting Fellow Apala Majumdar (University of Bath) in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the mathematics of liquid crystals and to the liquid crystal community.

Monday, 29 June 2015

John Wallis - the latest in our series of Oxford Mathematicians

“In the year 1649 I removed to Oxford, being then Publick Professor of Geometry, of the Foundation of Sr. Henry Savile. And Mathematicks which had before been a pleasing diversion, was now to be my serious Study.”
Our latest Oxford Mathematician is John Wallis, Savilian Professor of Geometry from 1649 to 1703, and the most influential English mathematician before the rise of Isaac Newton. His most important works were his Arithmetic of Infinitesimals and his treatise on Conic Sections, both published in the 1650s. These were full of fresh discoveries and insights and appeared at a critical time in the development of mathematics. It was through studying the former that Newton came to discover his version of the binomial theorem. Wallis’s last great mathematical work, A Treatise of Algebra, was published in his seventieth year. 
See also the first in the series on G H Hardy
Friday, 26 June 2015

Iain Smears wins Leslie Fox Prize

The 17th IMA Leslie Fox Prize in Numerical Analysis has been won by Oxford Mathematician Iain Smears, together with Alex Townsend from MIT. 

Iain has recently completed his DPhil under the supervision of Prof. Endre Süli in the Numerical Analysis Group in Oxford. His research is on computational algorithms for solving a class of highly nonlinear partial differential equations called Hamilton–Jacobi–Bellman equations. These equations arise in models of stochastic control that originate in a wide range of application areas, including engineering, finance and energy. He developed highly accurate and flexible methods for a broad class of these equations, thereby leading to significant gains in terms of computational efficiency over existing approaches. The results of his work are set out in two publications in SIAM Journal on Numerical Analysis, and one publication in Numerische Mathematik.
The prize is named in honour of Leslie Fox (1918-1992), Director of the Oxford University Computer Laboratory (1957-1983) and Professor of Numerical Analysis at Oxford University.
Alex Townsend is a former student of Nick Trefethen, Oxford Professor of Numerical Analysis. Second prizes were awarded to Patrick Farrell, who is currently at Oxford, and John W. Pearson, a former student of Andy Wathen in the Numerical Analysis Group at Oxford.
Friday, 26 June 2015

Departmental teaching awards announced

Congratulations to Oxford Mathematicians Dmitry Belyaev, Ian Hewitt, Derek Moulton, Christoph Reisinger, Zubin Siganporia (pictured), Robert Style, Nick Trefethen and Sarah Waters who have all won departmental teaching awards for the year. 


Friday, 26 June 2015

Thomas Woolley and William Binzi win OxTALENT prizes

OxTALENT is an annual competition and a ceremony designed to recognise and award colleagues and students from across the University for creative use of digital technologies in teaching, learning and outreach.

This year Thomas Woolley and William Binzi from Oxford Mathematics were awarded runner-up prizes in the Academic Podcasting category for their work with Mareli Augustyn in creating a video series of A Mathemagician’s Holiday. This workshop was originally created by Woolley, Binzi and Daniel Martin for an international trip to visit Dulwich Colleges in China. The workshop involves students getting to grips with mathematical problems all set around the theme of travel.

“We felt that teachers and schools around the UK might benefit from this workshop, but unfortunately we just cannot get to all the schools that contact us for a visit,” said Mareli when asked how the project started. “We thought that creating a video series might enable teachers to view the activities and do them in their own classrooms.”

The videos are not a perfectly produced work, but there is great interest in such material. The video series was posted on the University’s podcasting site, and received 700 views between October 2014 and May 2015. It was also placed on the TESConnect repository and viewed 420 times over the same period. The OxTALENT award was in recognition of the attempt to engage teachers and the public in Mathematics using digital media.

For more on the OxTALENT awards, please go to


Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Catherine Wilkins wins teaching award

Congratulations to Dr Catherine Wilkins from Oxford Mathematics who has won a MPLS (Mathematical Physical and Life Sciences Division) award for teaching excellence. Oxford Teaching Awards are given either to individuals or to teams as a public acknowledgement of excellence in teaching and learning.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Patrick Farrell wins 2015 Wilkinson Prize

Patrick Farrell, Early Career Research Fellow in Applied Mathematics in Oxford, together with colleagues from the Simula Research Laboratory and Imperial College London, has won this year's 2015 Wilkinson Prize. Their award was given for their work in developing dolfin-adjoint, a package which automatically derives and solves adjoint and tangent linear equations from high-level mathematical specifications of finite element discretisations of partial differential equations. The prize will be presented at ICIAM 2015 and will consist of $3000 plus a commemorative plaque for each winner.


The Wilkinson Prize was established to honour the outstanding contributions of Dr James Hardy Wilkinson to the field of numerical software. It is awarded every four years.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Vicky Neale wins acclaimed lecturer award

Many congratulations to Dr Vicky Neale on being a winner in the Most Acclaimed Lecturer category at the Oxford University Student Union Teaching Awards.

The awards provide students with the opportunity to recognise excellence in teaching by nominating anyone who has 'made a difference and inspired' them while they have been at Oxford. Vicky is Whitehead Lecturer in the Mathematics Institute and at Balliol College.