Tuesday, 21 November 2017

From Primes to Networks via Russia and ODEs - a sample of the latest books from Oxford Mathematics Faculty

When they aren't in their offices doing Maths our Faculty can be found in their offices writing books about doing Maths. Here is a recent sample of their labours. 

Richard Earl's 'Towards Higher Mathematics: A Companion' aims, as its title suggests, to bridge the gap between school and University, giving sixth-formers an insight into and preparation for the mathematics they will be studying at University.

By contrast Vicky Neale's 'Closing the Gap: the Quest to Understand Prime Numbers' is a mathematical thriller, a story of individual effort and innovative collaboration as the mathematical community tries to understand one of mathematics' great mysteries: Prime Numbers.

David Acheson's books aim to tell the world about the sheer excitement and pleasures of mathematics. His latest, 'the Calculus Story' does just that, giving the reader a tour of the mathematics of change via imaginary numbers, Isaac Newton and the electric guitar (amongst other mathematical things). You may even find yourself doing calculus.

Nick Trefethen is an expert in Numerical Analysis and one of the founders of the MATLAB-based Chebfun software project. Chebfun is at the heart of his latest book 'Exploring ODEs', an examination of the ubiquitous Ordinary Differential Equation.  

Christopher Hollings is an historian of mathematics and especially of Soviet Mathematics. His latest work 'Wagner’s Theory of Generalised Heaps' looks at the theories of the Russian mathematician V. V. Wagner (1908-1981). The book contains the first translation from Russian into English of a selection of Wagner’s papers.

Cornelia Drutu is an expert in geometric group theory and her forthcoming book on the subject (entitled 'Geometric Group Theory') attempts to make the subject accessible to students and researchers via proofs of many of its central tenets.

Renaud Lambiotte's 'A Guide to Temporal Networks' explores the fascinating world of networks and their profound and growing importance across the sciences, both physical and social. From the brain to Facebook, networks are at the heart of our interpretation of our world.

A full list of Faculty books is available.

Monday, 20 November 2017 Women in Technology Scholarships

Supporting female students is a priority for Oxford Mathematics, particularly on courses where women have historically been underrepresented.  We are delighted that, due to the support of, Oxford University can offer 10 scholarships to female Home/EU students studying MScs in mathematics, statistics and computer science in 2018-19. The scholarships will cover both fees and a stipend at the level of the national minimum doctoral stipend as set by the research councils. Scholarships are available to female applicants for the following MScs:

MSc Mathematical Sciences (OMMS)
MSc Statistical Science
MSc Mathematics and the Foundations of Computer Science
MSc Mathematical Modelling and Scientific Computing
MSc Mathematical and Theoretical Physics
MSc Computer Science
MSc Software Engineering
MSc Software and Systems Security

There is no separate application process for this scholarship. To be considered, submit your application for graduate study by Friday 19th January 2018. Selection is expected to take place by the end of April 2018. If you fulfil the eligibility criteria, you will be automatically considered for these scholarships.


Monday, 20 November 2017

West Nile Virus and understanding the spread of infection

West Nile virus (WNV) is responsible for viral encephalitis in humans, a condition that causes inflammation of the brain and can have longer-lasting physical effects. WNV is also related to similar viruses such as Dengue and Zika that are also of significant public health concern. Faced with the challenge of understanding how the virus reproduces within the host and its potential for epidemic, Oxford Mathematician Soumya Banerjee and colleagues have developed a computational method to determine characteristics of WNV infection even in the face of limited experimental data, an approach that could be applicable to other emerging diseases like the Zika virus for which there is little data.

Diseases that jump the species barrier from animals to humans affect millions worldwide. An understanding of how disease progression and immune response vary from species to species could have important public health benefits. In their work the team attempt to understand how immune function scales with body size, work which is a foundation for understanding scaling of immune response to other pathogens or in other animals. 

The team’s computational framework for infectious disease modelling at the within-host level leverages data from multiple species. This is likely to be of interest to modellers of infectious diseases that jump species barriers and infect multiple species – the method can be used to determine computationally the competency of a host to infect mosquitoes that will sustain West Nile virus infection. The models show that smaller Passerine species are more competent in spreading the disease than larger non-Passerine species. This suggests the role of host phylogeny as an important determinant of within-host pathogen replication.

Ultimately the team believes their work could be an important step in linking within-host viral dynamics models to the between-host models that predict spread of infectious disease between different hosts. 

Thursday, 16 November 2017

The Seduction of Curves: The Lines of Beauty That Connect Mathematics, Art and The Nude. Allan McRobie's Oxford Mathematics Public Lecture now online

There is a deep connection between the stability of oil rigs, the bending of light during gravitational lensing and the act of life drawing. To understand each, we must understand how we view curved surfaces. We are familiar with the language of straight-line geometry – of squares, rectangles, hexagons - but curves also have a language - of folds, cusps and swallowtails - that few of us know.

Allan explains how the key to understanding the language of curves is René Thom’s Catastrophe Theory, and how - remarkably - the best place to learn that language is perhaps in the life drawing class. Sharing its title with Allan's new book, the talk wanders gently across mathematics, physics, engineering, biology and art, but always with a focus on curves.

Warning: this talk contains nudity.

Allan McRobie is Reader in Engineering, University of Cambridge






Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Andrew Dancer elected to the Council of the LMS

Oxford Mathematician Andrew Dancer has been elected to the Council of the London Mathematical Society (LMS).  The Society publishes books and periodicals, organises mathematical conferences, provides funding to promote mathematical research and education and awards a number of prizes and fellowships for excellence in mathematical research.

Andrew Dancer's research focuses on Differential Geometry, especially the study of Einstein spaces. His recent work on Ricci flows features in our latest case-studies series.

Andrew is a Fellow of Jesus College here in Oxford.



Monday, 13 November 2017

Mathematics tracks the flu. Julia Gog Oxford Mathematics Public Lecture now online

Can mathematics really help us in our fight against infectious disease? Join Julia Gog as she explores some exciting current research areas where mathematics is being used to study pandemics, viruses and everything in between, with a particular focus on influenza.

Julia Gog is Professor of Mathematical Biology, University of Cambridge and David N Moore Fellow at Queens’ College, Cambridge.






Friday, 10 November 2017

James Maynard appointed Research Professor and receives a Wolfson Merit Award from the Royal Society

Oxford Mathematician James Maynard has been appointed Research Professor and receives a Wolfson Merit Award from the Royal Society. The Royal Society Wolfson Merit Award is a prestigious award intended to attract or retain respected scientists of outstanding achievement and potential.

Professor Maynard's project, 'Structure in the primes, with applications', aims to develop techniques to understand the statistical properties of the distribution of prime numbers - a central problem in number theory. The project consists of three large projects to be investigated over a five-year period. The projects follow the common theme of studying classical problems in analytic number theory by attempting to classify counter-examples, should they exist. This approach has been remarkably successful in analytic arguments, and is an example of a common connection between analysis, combinatorics and algebra. The underlying techniques also provide flexible and universal means of answering rigorously many real-world questions about primes.

James Maynard is one of the brightest young stars in world mathematics at the moment, having made dramatic advances in analytic number theory in the years immediately following his 2013 doctorate. These advances have brought him worldwide attention in mathematics and beyond. Just 30, he has already gained many markers of distinction, including the European Mathematical Society Prize, the Ramanujan Prize and the Whitehead Prize. He will be an invited speaker at the quadrennial International Congress of Mathematicians in 2018. He also holds a Clay Research Fellowship (2013-18), the most prestigious early career position in world mathematics.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Thaleia Zariphopoulou appointed as a Visiting Professor in the Mathematical Institute

We are delighted to announce that Thaleia Zariphopoulou has been appointed as a Visiting Professor in the Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford for three years from 1st November 2017.

Thaleia holds the Presidential Chair in Mathematics and is the V. H. Neuhaus Centennial Professor at the University of Texas at Austin. From 2009-2012 she was the Oxford-Man Professor of Quantitative Finance here in Oxford and has remained in close contact with colleagues in the Mathematical Institute.

Thaleia's works spans financial mathematics, notably stochastic optimization and quantitative finance. She has held many visiting fellowships and in 2012 became a Fellow of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) "for contributions to stochastic control and financial mathematics."

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Looking for a PhD in mathematics? And some funding?

Oxford Mathematics now has up to 50 fully-funded studentships available each year for doctoral degrees. All home, EU and overseas  applicants are eligible to apply – up to 20 studentships each year will be available to applicants regardless of nationality.

Find out more about postgraduate study and research life in Oxford.



Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Oxford Mathematics introduces its new Master's in Mathematical Sciences

The Oxford Master’s in Mathematical Sciences (or 'OMMS') is now admitting students to start in October 2018.  This new master’s degree is run jointly by the Mathematical Institute and the Department of Statistics at the University of Oxford.  For the first time we are able to offer students from across the world a masters course that draws on the full range of our research across the mathematical sciences, from fundamental themes in the core to interdisciplinary applications.

This MSc complements a range of other masters’ courses at Oxford - each of which has distinctive features and meets a specialised need.  Click for further details of mathematics and statistics courses at Oxford.