Fri, 13 Jan 2023

'Introduction to University Mathematics' - full course now online

Image from the lecture

The 'Introduction to University Mathematics' course is taken in the first two weeks of the first year of the Oxford Mathematics degree. It introduces the concepts and ways of mathematical thinking that students need in the years ahead. Much of the context will be familiar from high school but the way we think and write about it, and construct arguments and proofs, is more rigorous.

In summary it is a recap and a pointer to what is to come for our students. We are making the whole course of eight lectures available to anyone who is soon to start mathematics at university or who is pondering whether they should. And anyone else, of course.

Full course

In addition to this course, there are another 70 Oxford Mathematics students lectures on our YouTube Channel  (including three full courses) giving an insight in to all four years of our degree. You are very welcome to dip in.

Please contact us for feedback and comments about this page. Created on 13 Jan 2023 - 14:17.
Thu, 12 Jan 2023

Cascading Principles - a major mathematically inspired exhibition by Conrad Shawcross

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Oxford Mathematics is delighted to be hosting one of the largest exhibitions by the artist Conrad Shawcross in the UK. The exhibition, Cascading Principles: Expansions within Geometry, Philosophy, and Interference, brings together almost 40 sculptures realised by the artist over the last seventeen years. The artworks are placed in public and private areas, forming a web of relationships which emerge as the viewer moves through the building.

Conrad Shawcross models scientific thought and reasoning within his practice. Drawn to mathematics, physics, and philosophy from the early stages of his artistic career, Shawcross combines these disciplines in his work. He places a strong emphasis on the nature of matter, and on the relativity of gravity, entropy, and the nature of time itself. Like a scientist working in a laboratory, he conceives each work as an experiment. Modularity is key to his process and many works are built from a single essential unit or building block. If an atom or electron is a basic unit for physicists, his unit is the tetrahedron.

Unlike other shapes, a tetrahedron cannot tessellate with itself. It cannot cover or form a surface through its repetition - one tetrahedron is unable to fit together with others of its kind. Whilst other shapes can sit alongside one another without creating gaps or overlapping, tetrahedrons cannot resolve in this way. Shawcross’ Schisms are a perfect demonstration of this failure to tessellate. They bring twenty tetrahedrons together to form a sphere, which results in a deep crack and ruptures that permeate its surface. This failure of its geometry means that it cannot succeed as a scientific model, but it is this very failure that allows it to succeed as an art work, the cracks full of broad and potent implications.

The show includes all Conrad's manifold geometric and philosophical investigations into this curious, four-surfaced, triangular prism to date. These include the Paradigms, the Lattice Cubes, the Fractures, the Schisms, and The Dappled Light of the Sun. The latter was first shown in the courtyard of the Royal Academy and subsequently travelled all across the world, from east to west, China to America.

The show also contains the four Beacons. Activated like a stained-glass window by the light of the sun, they are composed of two coloured, perforated disks moving in counter rotation to one another, patterning the light through the non-repeating pattern of holes, and conveying a message using semaphoric language. These works are studies for the Ramsgate Beacons commission in Kent, as part of Pioneering Places East Kent.

Cascading Principles: Expansions within Geometry, Philosophy, and Interference will be accompanied by a four-part symposium, with events taking place throughout the year of the exhibition. Researchers from Oxford Mathematics will be paired with artists and philosophers for talks that will foster cross-fertilisation of thought and creativity. The symposium series is organised in partnership with Modern Art Oxford and Ruskin School of Art, evoking the collaborative ethos of Conrad's artistic practice.

The exhibition Cascading Principles: Expansions within Geometry, Philosophy, and Interference is curated by Fatoş Üstek, and is organised in collaboration with Oxford Mathematics.

The exhibition is open 9 am-5 pm, Monday to Friday. Some of the works are in the private part of the building and we shall be arranging regular tours of that area. If you wish to join a tour please email @email

The exhibition runs until 8 October 2023.

Cascading Principles is generously supported by our longstanding partner XTX Markets.

Please contact us for feedback and comments about this page. Created on 12 Jan 2023 - 09:34.
Tue, 20 Dec 2022

The Maths + Cancer Podcast - how mathematics and statistics enhance cancer research

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The Maths + Cancer podcast explores the extraordinary and unexpected ways mathematics and statistics is being applied to cancer research across Oxford and beyond.

The podcast hostVicky Neale, is the Whitehead Lecturer here in the Mathematical Institute and Supernumerary Fellow at Balliol College. This podcast series is both a personal and professional endeavour for Vicky. 

Since March 2021, Vicky has been receiving treatment for a rare form of cancer, prompting her to discover more about how her colleagues in the mathematical community are contributing to cancer research – from prevention, through to diagnosis and treatment.

Throughout the series she will talk to a range of experts to find out more about the role of mathematics and statistics in cancer research, as well as to discover more about the people behind the work.

In the episodes, she will discuss the relevance of maths to cancer with Philip Maini and explore the importance of the communication of risk with David Spiegelhalter. She’ll also be chatting with medical physicist Tom Whyntie about the role of mathematics in medical imaging and cancer treatment, and seeing how numbers might not tell the whole story with Hannah Fry. In the fifth episode Vicky talks to mathematical biologist Helen Byrne about how modelling can provide predictive tools for growth and response to treatment of solid tumours and in the final episode of the series fellow mathematical biologist Heather Harrington explains how the maths is responding to the increasing complexity of the medical data. You can listen to all the podcasts via the links below.

The Maths + Cancer series is part of Cancer at Oxford which brings together the vast range of work that is being done in the University to increase our understanding of the many diseases that comprise cancer. You can find out more details about the podcast series here.

 

Please contact us for feedback and comments about this page. Created on 20 Dec 2022 - 09:16.
Mon, 05 Dec 2022

Maryam Mirzakhani Scholarship for female DPhil (PhD) students

Photo of two female DPhil students

The new scholarship, enabled by founding and principal donor XTX Markets, launches in memory of Iranian mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani.

A £2.48 million gift from founding and principal donor XTX Markets, the global algorithmic trading firm, will enable the endowment of a Maryam Mirzakhani scholarship scheme at the University of Oxford, to help talented female graduates pursue doctoral studies in mathematics at Oxford.

The new scholarships commemorate the life and work of Iranian mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani (1977-2017), who became the first female mathematician to win the Fields Medal, in 2014. This award is one of the highest global honours in mathematics, awarded to exceptional mathematicians under the age of 40 every four years.

The Maryam Mirzakhani Scholarship aims to address the disproportionately low levels of representation of women applying for and completing postgraduate degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. Nationally, only 29 per cent of postgraduate research students identify as female, according to figures from HESA.

The gift from XTX Markets endows fully funded scholarships for students of any nationality to complete a standard four-year DPhil in Mathematics programme at Oxford’s Mathematical Institute, with the first scholar expected to commence their studies in October 2023.

Professor James Sparks, Head of Department for Oxford’s Mathematical Institute, said: "Addressing the underrepresentation of women on the DPhil in Mathematics programme and encouraging female students to pursue postgraduate study are key priorities for us in the Mathematical Institute. We're extremely grateful to XTX Markets for recognising and supporting our commitment with the Maryam Mirzakhani Scholarship, and for their wider support across the Mathematical Sciences."

Simon Coyle, Head of Philanthropy at XTX Markets, said: "XTX Markets is proud to be the Founding and Principal Donor of the Maryam Mirzakhani Scholarship at the University of Oxford. We hope that this prestigious opportunity will inspire more women to pursue mathematics at the highest level and support them to follow in Maryam Mirzakhani’s footsteps."

Further details on the Maryam Mirzakhani Scholarship can be found here.

XTX Markets is also supporting the Oxford University Graduate Scholarships for Ukraine scheme with a grant of £602,550 from its £15m Academic Sanctuaries Fund, which was established to help deliver academic sanctuary for students and researchers affected by the war in Ukraine. This will help up to 18 graduate students who have been displaced by the war in Ukraine to complete a full-time taught master’s course at Oxford.

Please contact us for feedback and comments about this page. Created on 05 Dec 2022 - 00:54.
Fri, 02 Dec 2022

Anyone for a mince pi? Mathematical modelling of festive foods - Helen Wilson

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In this Oxford Mathematics Christmas Public Lecture we look at a variety of delicious delights through a lens of fluid dynamics and mathematical modelling. From perfect roast potatoes to sweet sauces, mathematics gets everywhere!

Helen Wilson is Head of the Department of Mathematics at UCL. She is best known for her work on the chocolate fountain (which features in this lecture) but does do serious mathematical modelling as well.

Watch on our Oxford Mathematics YouTube Channel at 5pm on 20th December and any time after.

The Oxford Mathematics Public Lectures are generously supported by XTX Markets.

Please contact us for feedback and comments about this page. Created on 02 Dec 2022 - 11:44.
Fri, 25 Nov 2022

Postgraduate Open Day - now online

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Our annual Postgraduate Open Day is now available on our YouTube Channel. Hear about postgraduate life in Oxford from our students, the range of DPhil and taught master's programmes we offer from our faculty, and tips on how to decide whether postgraduate life is for you, and if you think it is, the best way of making it a success.

We have a range of scholarships including the Jane Street scholarships, four fully-funded postgraduate scholarships for UK Black or Mixed-Black students, the Martingale Postgraduate Foundation Scholarships for outstanding UK students to complete STEM master's and PhDs at leading UK research universities, the Pembroke Black Academic Futures Scholarship, the newly created Maryam Mirzakhani Scholarship for female DPhil students and the Heilbronn Doctoral Partnership Scholarship.

In addition we have the Wang Scholarship for DPhil candidates providing full fees and a stipend for four years, and the Charles Coulson Scholarship in Mathematical Physics, available to DPhil candidates in Mathematical Physics and providing full fees and a stipend for four years. We also have fully funded studentships available for the CDT in Mathematics of Random Systems.

Please contact us for feedback and comments about this page. Created on 25 Nov 2022 - 00:00.
Thu, 17 Nov 2022

A Mathematician's Guide to the World Cup

Still of bouncing balls

In 2010 Paul the Octopus 'correctly' predicted results in the 2010 World Cup. However, these days the experts are the analysts who trawl through the reams of data about players and teams. And where there is data, there is mathematics. And, particularly, mathematical models. Joshua Bull is a mathematical modeller. He was also the winner of the 2020 Fantasy Football competition from over eight million entrants. So when it came to the Oxford Mathematics 2022 World Cup predictor, Josh fitted the bill perfectly. Honing in on the data, applying his modelling skills, and adding a pinch of the assumptions that inform modelling (disclaimer: he is an Ipswich Town fan), Josh has come up with the answers - or rather, likely outcomes.

You can see what you think about his predictions and his methods via the video below. He is also going to be providing predictions of individual games starting with England-Iran and including all the later knockout games on our social media channels (links at the bottom of this email).

Please contact us for feedback and comments about this page. Created on 17 Nov 2022 - 00:09.
Thu, 03 Nov 2022

MAT (Mathematics Admissions Test) in 10 minutes or less

Image from MAT

Yesterday over 5000 applicants took the Mathematics Admissions Test, the entrance test used for undergraduate mathematics at Oxford, and other courses at Oxford and other universities. It's a two and a half hour exam. Here Dr James Munro gives you all the answers in 10 minutes or less.

The MAT is used by Oxford Mathematics to help us decide which candidates to invite for interview.

There are more MAT resources here and more supporting videos here

 

Please contact us for feedback and comments about this page. Created on 03 Nov 2022 - 13:39.
Sat, 22 Oct 2022

Oxford Mathematics Public Lecture: Signatures of Streams - Terry Lyons

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Wednesday 2 November, 5 pm, Mathematical Institute, Oxford

A calculator processes numbers without caring that these numbers refer to items in our shopping, or the calculations involved in designing an airplane. Number without context is a remarkable abstraction that we learn as infants and which has profoundly affected our world.

Our lives start, progress in complex ways, and are finally complete. So do tasks executed on a computer. Multimodal streams are a pervasive “type”, and even without fixing the context, have a rich structure. Developing this structure leads to wide-ranging tools that have had award-winning impact on methodology in health care, finance, and computer technology.

Terry Lyons is Professor of Mathematics in Oxford and a Fellow of St Anne's College. His research is supported through the DataSig and Cimda-Oxford programmes. 

Please email @email to register.

The lecture will be available on our Oxford Mathematics YouTube Channel on 09 November at 5 pm.

The Oxford Mathematics Public Lectures are generously supported by XTX Markets.

Please contact us for feedback and comments about this page. Created on 22 Oct 2022 - 20:53.
Wed, 19 Oct 2022

Introduction to University Mathematics - watch now

Opening slide with photo of Ian

In their first two weeks of their first term - which started just last week - Oxford Mathematics Undergraduates take the 'Introduction to University Mathematics' course, introducing them to the concepts and ways of mathematical thinking that they will use in the years ahead. Much of the context will be familiar from high school but the way we think and write about it at university, and construct arguments and proofs, is more rigorous. In summary it is a recap and a pointer to what is to come for our students.

We are showing the whole course over eight lectures over the next few weeks to help aspiring students whatever their ambition or destination. This is Lecture 1. Some of the accompanying materials (slides and problem sheets) are publicly available here

Dip in as you wish; and enjoy

 

Please contact us for feedback and comments about this page. Created on 19 Oct 2022 - 16:05.