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Department of Mathematical Sciences



Michael Goldstein part of new £20m EPSRC National Centre for Energy Systems Integration

A new centre, involving researchers at Durham University, that will allow experts to test the entire energy system in real time has been announced today.

Bridging a pivotal gap in our drive towards a fully integrated, smart energy network, the centre is crucial to improving energy efficiency, driving down customer bills and reducing carbon emissions.

Providing us with robust messages about the real world, the aim is to understand how we can optimise the energy network and inform future government policy.

(11 May 2016) » More about Michael Goldstein part of new £20m EPSRC National Centre for Energy Systems Integration

Durham Mathematical Physicists shed light on heart attacks by studying knots

Our colleague Paul Sutcliffe, Professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences, is the Leverhulme Project Director and Durham Lead of SPOCK (Scientific Properties of Complex Knots), a 5-year project whose aim is to create new computational tools and mathematical techniques for the analysis, synthesis and exploitation of knotted structures in a wide range of complex physical phenomena. Together with postdoc Fabian Maucher, he has introduced a new approach to the unknotting problem via the dynamics of vortex strings in a nonlinear partial differential equation of reaction-diffusion type. Their approach to the unknotting problem has two novel features, in that it applies field theory rather than particle mechanics and uses reaction-diffusion dynamics in place of energy minimization.

Their research, which is published in Physical Review Letters, has also been highlighted in Physics Buzz, the blog of the American Physical Society. Remarkably, it helps understand the physics of heart attack. Congratulations to Fabian and Paul for a wonderful piece of work with potentially huge impact.

(6 May 2016)

Athena SWAN Bronze

The Department of Mathematical Sciences is delighted to announce it has been awarded Athena SWAN Bronze in the most recent round of applications. The application was led by Professor Paul Mansfield, and supported by a diverse self-assessment team consisting of academic staff, a retired School Master, postdocs, graduate students and undergraduate students of both genders. We have come a long way in the last three years, increasingly reflecting on gender issues in STEMM subjects, and we plan to continue to improve the quality of our working environment so that it is truly inclusive, for academics, students and administrative staff alike. We wish to thank all who helped us and will help us on the journey ahead.

(28 Apr 2016)

Kasper Peeters gives second Departmental Research Colloquium

On Wednesday 9 March, Kasper gave a very interesting overview of the evolution of computer algebra systems since the 1960s. His talk culminated with a description of what his Cadabra computer algebra system can offer.

CM101 was packed and the colloquium generated quite a few questions from colleagues who use computer algebra systems for their research. Some more details on Cadabra can be found on Kasper's homepage.

(10 Mar 2016)

Andrew Lobb to give the first Departmental Research Colloquium of the year

Andrew Lobb kicks in with a talk on Khovanov Homology on Wednesday 27 January at 3pm in CM101.

This series of colloquia, usually once a term, is of general interest and will give members of the department a chance to learn about important topics researched in other areas of mathematical sciences an dto talk about their own research. Talks will be followed by a wine and cheese reception in the coffee room. Paul Sutcliffe organizes, so speak to him if you wish to talk.

(20 Jan 2016)

Camila Caiado member of Durham University Council

Camila is one of 7 appointed members of University staff (at least 5 of whom are academic staff with research and teaching responsibilities - normally taken to mean lecturers, senior lecturers, readers and professors - and none of whom are serving members of the University's Executive Committee. You can read about Council's role and responsibilities and engage with Camila if you would like her to represent your views at Council meetings.

Congratulations to Camila for this accolade.

(2 Jan 2016)

John Parker at Trieste Advance School and Workshop

John Parker has just returned from organising (together with Pepe Seade, Todd Drumm and Bertrand Deroin) a summer school and workshop at ICTP in Trieste, on the geometry of discrete actions . The mission of ICTP is to promote science and mathematics in the developing world. We were given funding by UNESCO to invite
mathematicians from developing countries. The two largest groups came from Mexico and India. In addition we had participants from Benin, Cameroon, China, Congo, Ghana, Iran, Pakistan as well as England, Italy, Japan and Korea. We also received funding
from the NSF (USA) and CONACYT (Mexico).

During the first week there were mini-courses to provide the necessary background. In the second week research talks, whose speakers were also from a wide range of countries: Canada, England, France, Germany, India, Luxembourg, Mexico, Singapore, Switzerland and the USA. A particular highlight for John was meeting his student Richard Boadi from Ghana for the second time. During the five years Richard was working on his PhD, he and John only talked by email. The first time they met was before Richard was a graduate student.

ICTP Summer School 2015

(15 Sep 2015)