Photos of Fernando and Alain

Today Oxford Mathematicians Fernando Alday and Alain Goriely have been elected Fellows of the Royal Society (FRS) for their outstanding contributions to science.

Fernando Alday (pictured left) is an Argentinean Theoretical Physicist and Mathematician, Rouse-Ball Professor of Mathematics and Head of the Mathematical Physics Group in Oxford, and a fellow of Wadham College. He did his undergraduate at Centro Atomico Bariloche, Argentina, and his DPhil at SISSA, Italy, under the supervision of Edi Gava and Kumar Narain. He joined Oxford in 2010, after doing Postdocs at Utrecht University in the Netherlands and at the Institute for Advanced Study in the US. 

Fernando is well-known for the development of mathematical tools to understand fundamental questions in Quantum Field Theory and Quantum Gravity. His most important contributions involve surprising dualities among different theories and observables in high energy theoretical physics. One of these dualities relates scattering amplitudes to minimal surfaces/soap bubbles in anti-de-Sitter space, while another, known as the AGT correspondence, relates correlation functions in a two-dimensional theory to the spectrum of four-dimensional gauge theories. More recently, Fernando has been developing mathematical tools to compute string and M-theory amplitudes in curved space-time, a subject still in its infancy.

Alain Goriely is a mathematician with broad interests in mathematical methods, mechanics, sciences, and engineering. He is well known for his contributions to fundamental and applied solid mechanics, and, in particular, for the development of a mathematical theory of biological growth, culminating with his seminal monograph The Mathematics on Mechanics of Biological Growth (2017).

He received his PhD from the University of Brussels in 1994 where he became a lecturer. In 1996, he joined the University of Arizona where he established a research group within the renowned Program of Applied Mathematics. In 2010, he joined the University of Oxford as the inaugural Statutory Professor of Mathematical Modelling and fellow of St. Catherine’s College. He is currently the Director of the Oxford Centre for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (OCIAM).

In addition, Alain enjoys scientific outreach based on problems connected to his research, including tendril perversion in plants, twining plants, umbilical cord knotting, whip cracking, the shape of seashells,  brain modelling. He is the author of a Very Short Introduction to Applied Mathematics (2017).

Oxford Mathematics now has 31 Fellows of the Royal Society among its current and retired members: John Ball, Bryan Birch, Martin Bridson, Philip Candelas, Marcus du Sautoy, Artur Ekert, Alison Etheridge, 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 Fernando and Alain of course.

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