Coralia Cartis elected SIAM Fellow

Photo of Cora

Oxford Mathematician Coralia Cartis is among the newly selected Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) Fellows for 2023. SIAM is an international community of over 14,000 individual members whose mission is to build cooperation between mathematics and the worlds of science and technology. Cora was recognised for theoretical and practical developments in continuous optimisation.

Coras was also recently selected an EUROPT Fellow 2023. EUROPT promotes communication links among researchers working in areas of continuous optimisation. Cora is a Professor in Numerical Optimisation.

Please contact us with feedback and comments about this page. Created on 01 Apr 2023 - 20:48.

Fermat's Last Tango

Image from musical

Fermat's Last Tango, written in 2000 by Joanne Sydney Lessner and Joshua Rosenblum, tells the story, in words and music, of a 300 hundred-year-old mathematical mystery and the man who spent seven years trying to solve it.

This version was performed in early March 2023 by Oxford Mathematics students and fellow students from across the University. The venue was a lecture theatre in the Andrew Wiles Building, home to Oxford Mathematics and named after the mathematician who is the subject of the story.

Watch on the Oxford Mathematics YouTube Channel on Thursday 30th March at 7pm and any time after.

Please contact us with feedback and comments about this page. Created on 26 Mar 2023 - 20:34.

Arkady Wey wins the Gold Medal at 2023 STEM for BRITAIN

Photo of Arkady

Oxford Mathematician Arkady Wey has won the Gold Medal for mathematical sciences at the 2023 STEM for BRITAIN poster competition held in the House of Commons on March 6th. Arkady was among 20 researchers presenting their work to dozens of politicians and a panel of expert judges. Oxford Mathematician Oliver Bond was also shortlisted.

Arkady’s poster focused on  his research in to the mathematical modelling of the filtration of harmful contaminants from liquids and gases. Polluted air is thought to be responsible for up to 10% of deaths worldwide, and as many as two billion people still do not have access to decontaminated drinking water.

Arkady, who is about to complete his DPhil (PhD) said: "As an industrial and applied mathematician, I have a passion for raising awareness about what we do, and the importance of our research. I’m less interested in maths for maths’ sake, and I want to produce something with real world, social impact. Today feels like a great success.”

STEM for BRITAIN aims to help politicians understand more about the UK’s thriving science and engineering base and rewards some of the strongest scientific and engineering research being undertaken in the UK. The gold medallist receives £1500 (and the medal, of course).

Please contact us with feedback and comments about this page. Created on 07 Mar 2023 - 11:30.

Rafael Viñoly

Building photo from the front

We were very sorry to hear of the death, at the age of 78, of architect Rafael Viñoly. Among Rafael's vast portfolio of work is our own Andrew Wiles Building which opened almost ten years ago in October 2013 and which has been an integral part of our work in making mathematics accessible and enjoyable for our faculty, researchers, students, support staff and the wider general public.

From the outset Rafael rapidly dispelled any initial concern that an international superstar with many visually striking buildings to his credit would not focus on the mundane interests of the eventual users of the building. He gave us a huge amount of his time and spent many hours in meetings developing his ideas and quizzing us on ours. As he himself has put it, he went  'beyond the decorative approach', setting out really to improve the experience of the occupants, and in turn, the wider public who have subsequently visited the building for talks, theatre and exhibitions. And it was a bonus that Rafael came from a mathematical family, and had no difficulty in understanding the nature of our work.

We were also very fortunate in having the support of Lavinia and Landon Clay. Lavinia Clay joined the project sponsor group, and gave it the benefit of her considerable experience and architectural insight without ever trying to impose her own vision, or even to put the family name on the building. In her and Rafael Viñoly we had the ideal combination of donor and architect.

As a result we have a building that is both welcoming and inspiring. If you are passing, come and have a look.

You can read a letter about Rafael written to the Guardian newspaper this week from former Head of the Mathematical Institute, Sam Howison.

Please contact us with feedback and comments about this page. Created on 06 Mar 2023 - 10:05.

Oxford Mathematics Public Lecture: Cascading Principles - Conrad Shawcross, Martin Bridson and James Sparks with Fatos Ustek. Online this week.


Whether a mathematician or an artist, when you begin you often don't know where you'll end up.

This Thursday, watch the online edition of our recent, very well-received Public Lecture where artist Conrad Shawcross and mathematicians Martin Bridson and James Sparks explore connections between mathematics and art, and discuss the exhibition of Conrad's work currently showing in the Andrew Wiles Building, home to Oxford Mathematics.

And you also get a look at the exhibition.

Thursday 9 March, 5-6pm (and any time afterwards). Just follow this link to our YouTube Channel (It will be the featured video - no need to register).

Oxford Mathematics Public Lectures and the Conrad Shawcross Exhibition are generously supported by XTX Markets.

Please contact us with feedback and comments about this page. Created on 05 Mar 2023 - 17:04.

The heat is on - our latest online student lecture

Photo of Philip Maini lecturing

Our YouTube student lectures elicit all sorts of comments:

- What's with the crazy rolling boards?

- I knew this stuff at high school

- Didn't understand a thing

17 million views later, here's our latest: the Heat Equation with Philip Maini.

The heat equation, also known as the diffusion equation, is central to many areas in applied mathematics. In this series of four lectures, forming part of the first year undergraduate mathematics course, 'Fourier Series and PDEs', the heat equation is derived and the boundary value problem is solved using the method of separation of variables.

Students are then shown how they can use the theory of Fourier series, taught in the preceding lectures, to solve the initial value problem. The behaviour of the solutions is discussed mathematically and in the context of physical applications. Some of the accompanying materials (slides and problem sheets) are publicly available via this link:

Here is the first of four lectures. The next three are also available via the playlist

Please contact us with feedback and comments about this page. Created on 22 Feb 2023 - 23:54.

Me and My Maths - the new series

Kylie and Chloe from the video

The second series of our short films, Me and My Maths, is now up and running on our social media channels and you can watch a compilation of the first four films via the video below. Me and My Maths: short films about people who also do maths.

Starring in order of appearance: Kylie and Chloe, Andrea, Doyne, and Kate Wenqi.



Please contact us with feedback and comments about this page. Created on 09 Feb 2023 - 00:54.

Research Stories

Photo of Solveig Van Der Vegt

After the main course of student and public lectures, our YouTube Channel has a tasty dessert menu in the shape of 'Research Stories' where our researchers (including Solveig, pictured) talk about their latest work. Whatever your mathematical palate, there's something for you in the three series.


You can also get a further taste of our research and our people with our 'Me and My Maths' films (link below). The new episodes are already airing on our social media channels and will be on YouTube soon.

Me and My Maths

Please contact us with feedback and comments about this page. Created on 30 Jan 2023 - 22:56.

'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 with feedback and comments about this page. Created on 13 Jan 2023 - 14:17.

Cascading Principles - a major mathematically inspired exhibition by Conrad Shawcross

Photo of exhibit with someone walking past

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 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 with feedback and comments about this page. Created on 12 Jan 2023 - 09:34.