A unique blend of high quality teaching and research
Mathematical Sciences at Durham offers a unique blend of high-quality teaching and research in applied computational mathematics, mathematical and theoretical particle physics, pure mathematics, probability and statistics. We pride ourselves on combining world-leading research with dedication to the learning experience of our undergraduate and postgraduate students.
The curriculum and degree structure is frequently revisited and modernised to provide our students with the best possible mathematical and general skills, so that they adapt swiftly in a rapidly changing professional environment. We now have a new degree programme with a year in industry and we are preparing a new route in statistics and finance that will give interested students practical experience of problem solving in a commercial environment as well as enhance their employability.
By 2025, our Department aims to have doubled its permanent staff and its UG number with no compromise on the quality of entry tariffs or on the high calibre of the researchers recruited. We will have the ability, time and infrastructural support to enable the delivery of a top quality student learning experience in conjunction with research that is internationally excellent and world-leading across the breadth of the subject, which can be organised in broad groupings of Applied and Computational Mathematics, Mathematical and Theoretical Physics, Pure Mathematics, Probability and Statistics.
Our new building will have been constructed by 2020 according to a thoughtful design that provides an inspiring and conducive environment for the development of modern mathematics and scholarly activities of the highest standards, whilst enhancing the staff-student relationship and giving students a strong sense of belonging. Our building will foster constructive interdisciplinary exchanges with industrial partners and colleagues based in other departments.
Our department is ranked joint 1st in the UK for internationally excellent and world-leading research impact
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Research in the Department of Mathematical Sciences is organised into a number of groups interacting with each other and other departments.
The Applied & Computational Mathematics Group: The group has a wide range of interests in the mathematical analysis of partial differential equations and in magnetohydrodynamics.
The Mathematical and Theoretical Particle Physics Group: Our research activities fall into the broad categories of quantum field theory, string theory and gravity, cosmology and solitons in field theory. The group's interests are complementary to those of particle physicists belonging to the Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology, and together we form the Centre for Particle Theory.
The Pure Mathematics Group: the areas of research of the pure mathematics group include global analysis, arithmetic, differential and hyperbolic geometry, number theory, representation theory, topology and interactions of these areas with dynamics, physics, engineering and computer science (robotics).
The Probability and Statistics Group: the interests of the group cover a wide range of topics associated with probability and statistics. In particular, we use Bayes linear methods and techniques of applied Statistics for the analysis of designed experiments. Percolation, geometric probability and quasi-stationarity are also part of our portfolio.
Our multi-faceted Department encourages each individual to engage in projects that have the potential to challenge traditional research behaviours. One such project is the Leverhulme Trust Research Programme SPOCK, which develops new computational and mathematical techniques for the analysis, synthesis and exploitation of knotted structures in a wide range of complex physical phenomena, allowing the development of a deep understanding of topological complexity in nature.
Experimentalists, theorists, mathematicians and scholars from the humanities from Durham and Bristol work together in identifying and solving problems in applied knot theory. Other successful endeavours include the STFC Consolidating grant `Particles, Fields and Space-time’ which supports the research of most colleagues in the Mathematical and Theoretical Particle Physics group, as well as the innovative `Connected Health Cities’ initiative, with one work package dedicated to scoping a regional interoperability platform for health, local authorities and universities in the North East and Cumbria, and in which some of our statisticians are involved alongside psychologists at Durham.
The Department of Mathematical Sciences runs its own Condor network on all its Linux desktop computers (approximately 200 PCs, mostly with 4 cores and 32GB RAM).
One can also register to use the University Hamilton HPC. Hamilton allows one to run parallel programmes on a large number of nodes, while the Condor cluster should only be used to run serial jobs (but a large number simultaneously).
The Department counts 60 permanent researchers distributed in five main groups: Applied and Computational Mathematics (6), Mathematical and Theoretical Particle Physics (21), Probability (5), Pure Mathematics (16) and Statistics (12).
We also host 15 postdoctoral fellows at various stages of their early career and a few teaching fellows. We aim at allocating a graduate student to our newest appointments and are constantly seeking funding to reach a target of two PhD students per member of staff. Staff profiles are available at durham.ac.uk/mathematical.sciences/staff.