View of the old Mathematical Institute at 24-29 St Giles

History of Oxford Mathematics

Mathematics has a long history. Oxford Mathematics is younger, if 800 can be described as young. For an account of those eight centuries, see Oxford Figures: 800 Years of the Mathematical Sciences, edited by John Fauvel, Raymond Flood and Robin Wilson, and published by Oxford University Press (second edition, published in September 2013).

For a brief (and not up-to-date) account, see the text of a lecture by the late I. W. Busbridge, who was a fellow of St Hugh's College from 1945 to 1970. It is reproduced here without revision. Much has happened in Oxford since then, but her account is still of great interest.

Bringing the story more up to date, is a fascinating piece by undergraduate Maddy Underwood on the experience of women DPhil students in Oxford in the 1980s, a world where the majority was very much male.

We have also produced a series of posters for display on the mezzanine floor of our building featuring Oxford Mathematicians of the last 800 years. 

However, we are aware that much of the mathematics that is done throughout the world today is essentially European in style.  A series of new posters, to be displayed in the mezzanine of the Andrew Wiles Building, aims to provide a taste of the different types of mathematics that have appeared throughout the world.

Please contact us with feedback and comments about this page. Last updated on 02 Apr 2022 22:26.