The 40th Piece

Photo of Plosion

There's much debate about inspiring a greater appreciation for mathematics. Art has a key role.

Plosion 1 (Yellow) is the 40th and final piece in the mathematically inspired exhibition that is Conrad Shawcross' Cascading Principles: Expansions within Geometry, Philosophy, and Interference.

Whereas the other 39 works are placed in the public and private areas of the Andrew Wiles Building, home to Oxford Mathematics, Plosion sits outside, between the Andrew Wiles Building and The Radcliffe Humanities Building, appropriate for a work that combines artistic flair with mathematical precision.

Click here for more information about the exhibition which is open to the public and runs until October.

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

Please contact us with feedback and comments about this page. Created on 25 May 2023 - 14:09.

First Maryam Mirzakhani Scholar announced

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We are delighted to announce our first Maryam Mirzakhani Scholar. Marta Bucca (pictured) will join Oxford Mathematics in October as a postgraduate student in the Mathematical Physics Group, to carry out research on String Theory under the supervision of Professor Mark Mezei.

The Maryam Mirzakhani scholarship has been enabled by philanthropy, including a £2.48m gift from founding and principal donor XTX Markets. It was launched in memory of Iranian mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani who, in 2014, became the first female mathematician to win the Fields Medal, the most prestigious prize for a mathematician under the age of 40. 

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 has led to further donations and together they have endowed fully funded scholarships for female students of any nationality to complete a standard four-year DPhil in Mathematics at Oxford’s Mathematical Institute.

James Sparks, Head of the Mathematical Institute, said: "Our first Maryam Mirzakhani scholar marks an important step in our commitment to widening female participation at postgraduate level in the Mathematical Institute. We look forward to welcoming Marta to the Mathematical Physics research group in the autumn. I would like to express my thanks to XTX Markets and our other funders for so generously funding the scholarship scheme."

Please contact us with feedback and comments about this page. Created on 12 May 2023 - 00:01.

James Maynard elected Fellow of the Royal Society

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Oxford Mathematician James Maynard has been elected Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) for his outstanding contributions to science.

James is recognised as one of the leading figures in the field of number theory. Much of his career has focused on the study of general questions on the distribution of prime numbers. His early research was on sieve methods and gaps between prime numbers and as a postdoctoral researcher in Montreal he developed a new sieve method for detecting primes in bounded length intervals, and settled a long-standing conjecture of Paul Erdős on large gaps between primes. Subsequently he showed the existence of infinitely many primes missing any given digit (for example, 7).

More recently, James has developed a growing interest in questions about Diophantine approximation, and in joint work with D. Koukoulopoulos he settled the Duffin-Schaeffer conjecture and dramatically improved upon the work of Schmidt concerning simultaneous approximation by rationals with square denominator. Most recently, improving on classical work of Bombieri, Friedlander and Iwaniec, he published a monumental series of works on the distribution of primes in residue classes which goes beyond what follows from the Generalised Riemann Hypothesis.  

James Maynard grew up in Chelmsford, Essex and did his undergraduate studies at Queens' College, Cambridge before moving to Oxford to do a DPhil under the supervision of Roger Heath-Brown. He is now a Professor of Number Theory in Oxford and a Supernumerary Fellow at St John's College.

For his research in number theory, James was awarded the Fields Medal in 2022, the most prestigious prize for a mathematician under the age of 40. He is the recipient of many other prizes including the 2023 New Horizons Prize for Early-Career Achievements in Mathematics.

James said of his election: "I'm delighted to be elected as a fellow of the Royal Society! It is a great honour and amazing to have my name alongside many of the most famous scientists and mathematicians throughout history (as well as several of my esteemed colleagues in Oxford), people I was inspired by as a child starting to get an interest in mathematics."

Oxford Mathematics now has 32 Fellows of the Royal Society among its current and retired members: Fernando Alday, John Ball, Bryan Birch, Martin Bridson, Philip Candelas, Marcus du Sautoy, Artur Ekert, Alison Etheridge, Alain Goriely, Ian Grant, Ben Green, Roger Heath-Brown, Nigel Hitchin, Ehud Hrushovski, Ioan James, Dominic Joyce, Jon Keating, Frances Kirwan, Terry Lyons, Philip Maini, Vladimir Markovic, Jim Murray, John Ockendon, Roger Penrose, Jonathan Pila, Graeme Segal, Endre Süli, Martin Taylor, Ulrike Tillmann, Nick Trefethen, Andrew Wiles, and James himself, of course.

Please contact us with feedback and comments about this page. Created on 10 May 2023 - 09:32.

Vicky Neale

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It is with huge sadness and a profound sense of loss that we must announce that Vicky Neale, teacher, advocate, inspiration and much loved colleague, died on May 3 after a long illness.

Vicky is well known to many people in the mathematical community and beyond, from fellow academics to the many schools that she visited and, most of all, through her many lectures, talks and films. Her digital footprint is a fitting and wonderful legacy.

We pass our condolences to her family, her friends and to all of you who have lost a champion for our wonderful subject.

Last year Vicky made a series of podcasts on the subject of Maths + Cancer with fellow mathematicians and scientists such as David Spiegelhalter and Hannah Fry. You can listen to them all here

And you can share your memories of Vicky

Please contact us with feedback and comments about this page. Created on 04 May 2023 - 16:00.

Alison Etheridge elected member of the National Academy of Sciences

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We are pleased to announce that Oxford Mathematician Alison Etheridge has been elected as an international member of the National Academy of Sciences in the United States.

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is a private, nonprofit organisation of the leading researchers in the US and beyond. The NAS recognises and promotes outstanding science through election to membership; publication in its journal, PNAS; and its awards, programs, and special activities. Through the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the NAS provides objective, science-based advice on critical issues.

Alison is Professor of Probability in Oxford, having worked at the Universities of Cambridge, Berkeley, Edinburgh and Queen Mary University London before returning to Oxford. Her interests have ranged from abstract mathematical problems to concrete applications with her recent work focused on mathematical modelling of population genetics. She was Head of the Department of Statistics in Oxford until August 2022 and was, last month, elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Please contact us with feedback and comments about this page. Created on 03 May 2023 - 23:04.

Jane Ivy Coons wins the L'Oréal-UNESCO UK and Ireland For Women in Science Rising Talent Award

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Oxford Mathematician Jane Ivy Coons has won a L'Oréal-UNESCO UK and Ireland For Women in Science Rising Talent Award. The L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science partnership, founded in 1998, aims to help empower more women scientists to achieve scientific excellence and participate equally in solving the great challenges facing humanity.

Jane's research is in the field of algebraic statistics where she uses tools from algebra and combinatorics to explore the geometry of statistical models. She is currently a Supernumerary Teaching Fellow at St John’s College and an affiliate researcher at the Mathematical Institute in Oxford. She received her PhD in 2021 from North Carolina State University where she was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow.

Please contact us with feedback and comments about this page. Created on 25 Apr 2023 - 12:38.

Alison Etheridge elected as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

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We are pleased to announce that Oxford Mathematician Alison Etheridge has been elected as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Founded In 1780, the Academy’s founders envisioned an organisation that would recognise accomplished individuals and engage them in addressing the greatest challenges facing the young nation. Today, the Academy continues to be both an honorary society, electing new members from the non-profit, private, and public sectors from across the world, and an independent policy organisation with initiatives in the arts, democracy, education, global affairs, and science.

Alison is Professor of Probability in Oxford, having worked at the Universities of Cambridge, Berkeley, Edinburgh and Queen Mary University London before returning to Oxford. Her interests have ranged from abstract mathematical problems to concrete applications with her recent work focused on mathematical modelling of population genetics. She was Head of the Department of Statistics in Oxford until August 2022.

Alison joins the company of notable members – from the earliest members John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Alexander Hamilton to Ralph Waldo Emerson, Maria Mitchell, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King, Condoleezza Rice and Joan Baez.

Please contact us with feedback and comments about this page. Created on 20 Apr 2023 - 13:16.

Chris Breward appointed inaugural Scientific Director of the UK’s new Knowledge Exchange Hub for Mathematical Sciences

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Oxford Mathematician Chris Breward has been appointed as the inaugural Scientific Director of the UK’s new Knowledge Exchange Hub for Mathematical Sciences (KE Hub).

Chris has a long history of knowledge-exchange-rich research, and has used mathematics to address outstanding challenges with over 40 different business groups and companies. Amongst many other outcomes, his research has been used for applications as diverse as making “ultrathin” glass sheets viable, and enhancing the operation of sulphur-dioxide-removing filters. Since 2014, he has been the co-Director of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Industrially Focused Mathematical Modelling in Oxford Mathematics.

The KE Hub is an initiative launched following the Bond Review and the Connected Centres Network consultation and is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) through the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences. Through a series of linked projects the KE Hub aims to amplify the voice of practitioners and end-users in the mathematical community, increase mobility, create capacity, develop skills, share good practice for low-risk, high-reward entry points in KE, and broker connections.

Please contact us with feedback and comments about this page. Created on 18 Apr 2023 - 16:22.

Me and My Maths - the latest episode

Still from film featuring the Fast Hat

Welcome to another episode of 'Me and My Maths', starring Adam, Sofia, Edwina and Yixuan. 

In 90 seconds each of our guests describes life in Oxford Mathematics.

Adam discusses the master's course in mathematical modelling and scientific computing, Sofia describes the wonders of working in higher dimensions, Edwina talks about partnerships with medics, and Yixuan explains how industry and academia work together on problems. In addition, they each talk about the wider working environment and the importance of their colleagues. And we explain the critical importance of the Oxford Mathematics Fast Hat.

Me and My Maths. Short films about people who also do maths.

 

 

Please contact us with feedback and comments about this page. Created on 16 Apr 2023 - 15:43.

Oxford Maths Festival 2023 - coming your way in May

Image from last year's festival of children doing puzzles

The Oxford Maths Festival (organised by Oxford Mathematics) is an extravaganza of all the wonderful curiosities mathematics holds. Over two days you can immerse yourself in a wide range of events, with something for everyone, no matter your age or prior mathematical experience.

Saturday 13 May: Templar's Square Shopping Centre (OX4 3XH): this is the main centre of activities on Saturday. The shopping centre is located in East Oxford. There are some cycle racks around the square, and several bus stops within close reach. Parking is available in the multi-storey car park.

Sunday 14 May: Mathematical Institute (OX2 6GG): all the activities on Sunday will take place here. There is plenty of cycle parking, and some buses stop outside. The Mathematical Institute is approximately 10 minutes walk from the centre of Oxford. 

You can register to attend on the Sunday at the Mathematical Institute here (£3 registration fee). If you plan to attend on Saturday, this is a drop-in event and there is no need to register.

Please contact us with feedback and comments about this page. Created on 16 Apr 2023 - 15:39.