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.

Why study maths?

Photos of, left to right, Angela, Anne and Clare

Why study mathematics? Where can it take you?

Well, you could be the UK's Chief Scientific Adviser (Angela McLean, left), the Director GCHQ, the UK intelligence agency (Anne Keast-Butler, centre) or Chief Executive Citizens Advice UK (Clare Moriarty, right).

All studied maths at Oxford. Angela, who is now a professor of mathematical biology in Oxford studied at Somerville College; Anne who will take up her post in May is currently the Deputy Director General of MI5 and studied at Merton College; and Claire, who was Permanent Secretary of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, studied at Balliol College.

Please contact us with feedback and comments about this page. Created on 12 Apr 2023 - 12:35.

Philip Maini awarded IMA Gold Medal

Photo of Philip

Oxford Mathematician Philip Maini has been awarded the Institute of Mathematics and Its Applications (IMA) Gold Medal 2022 in recognition of his profound contributions to mathematics in biology and medicine, for the sustained role he has played in supporting and mentoring researchers in the early stages of their careers, and for the leadership he has shown in the biological mathematics community and the Wolfson Centre for Mathematical Biology in Oxford Mathematics where he is the Director.

Philip has made major contributions to the understanding of developmental biology, wound healing, host-pathogen interactions, tumour growth and intestinal crypt morphology. He has developed the art of mathematical modelling in biological and medical settings, including models of multi-scale structure and spatiotemporal structure more generally.

Philip was educated at Rainey Endowed School in Northern Ireland and Balliol College, Oxford where his supervisor was Jim Murray. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 2015 and has been the recipient of many prizes and fellowships including Fellowships of the IMA, the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), the Royal Society of Biology, the Indian National Science Academy, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

IMA Gold Medals are awarded in recognition of outstanding contributions to mathematics and its applications over a period of years, with nominations being considered every two years.

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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.

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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.

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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.