Dept News, October 2017

18 December 2017

1. Many congratulations to Luke Swift for his recent success in his PhD viva. His thesis, supervised by Erik Burman, is titled ''Geometrically unfitted finite element methods for the Helmholtz equation''.

2. The following undergraduates competed in the 2017 International Mathematics Competition for University Students, held in Bulgaria:

Wenqiang Xu - THIRD PRIZE (Bronze medal)

Lingbo Ji, Laura Wakelin and Darius Pop - HONOURABLE MENTION

Youness Barakat and Mingdu Li - CERTIFICATE

This was a good performance and many thanks to Orif Ibrogimov for preparing the team for this competition.

3. The department has risen to 8th place in the complete university guide tables (I think this includes the Department of Statistical Science) :

https://www.thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk/league-tables/rankings?s=Mathematics

This is a good performance and consistent with our 5th place in the 2018 Guardian league table (also with Statistical Science). Well done all on achieving this fine result.

4(a). If you missed the recent Provost's View email (sent late last week), may I draw your attention to the following words in his article on ''How we plan to secure our place in the world top 10''

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• Institute for Mathematical and Statistical Science – IMSS (emerging)

Leads: Professors Ivan Parkin, Robb McDonald and Richard Chandler

Research quality and student experience are already excellent in these subjects, but they lack scale and facilities compared to world-leading competitors. By combining them, we will be in a position to reach the global top 50 by 2021 and, ultimately, the top 25.

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It is exciting and significant that the Provost has identified the co-location of Mathematics and Statistical Science into IMSS as one of UCL's top priorities (there are 5 on the list). Although a suitable space is yet to be identified, a team of colleagues from the department is in discussion with Estates and architects about what IMSS should include, how staff and students will benefit and what it might look like.

4(b). On more immediate space developments, an update on the 4th floor of 25 Gordon Street: The project to modernise The Union Space will look at releasing the 4th floor of 25 Gordon Street to academic use with Mathematics in a strong position to be the occupiers. The project will soon be entering the full feasibility stage and part of this work will be looking at how the 4th floor can best be used by Mathematics. This work will be led by Justine Fletcher (our Estates Strategy Manager) working with an architect led team of consultants. Consultation will take place with a group of departmental colleagues and we will be looking at incorporating office space, common areas and some PhD student space.

5. Another item which colleagues will find interesting is the following piece published in the Guardian today by PhD students Sean Jamshidi, Nikoleta Kalaydzhieva and Rafael Prieto Curiel: 

https://www.theguardian.com/science/blog/2017/oct/02/why-were-adding-black-mathematician-month-to-our-calendars

Well done Sean, Niki and Rafael on publishing this thought-provoking piece.