Photo of James

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.

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