The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis

Prof Hannah Fry

Prof Hannah Fry

Professor in the Mathematics of Cities

Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis

Faculty of the Built Environment

Joined UCL
10th Feb 2004

Research summary

Prof Hannah Fry's research revolves around the study of complex social and economic systems at various scales, from the individual to the urban, regional and global, and particularly those with a spatial element.

The systems cover a broad range of real-world mechanisms, from crime and security to trade, archeology and transport. They are analysed using dimensional and asymptotic techniques, spectral methods and numerical approaches alongside tools originating from chaos theory, game theory and fluid dynamics. Of particular interest are the translations between various complex systems descriptions -  ABMs, statistical physics descriptions and PDEs.


Prof Hannah Fry is a Professor in the Mathematics of Cities at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA). She was trained as a mathematician with a first degree in mathematics and theoretical physics, followed by a PhD in fluid dynamics. After a brief period working in aerodynamics, she returned to UCL to take up a post-doctoral position researching a relatively new area of science - social and economic complex systems. This led to her first appointment as a lecturer in the field in October 2012.

In addition to her academic work, she also has a broad portfolio of public engagement and science communication. Winner of the prestigious Zeeman Medal recognising her work in engaging the UK public with mathematics, Hannah is a trusted and well-recognised presenter. Her expertise is regularly called upon to develop and host documentaries, present radio shows and podcasts, and give talks to a range of audiences. Her ability to engage and enthuse people with even the most complicated topics is equally evident in print and she has had multiple essays published in the New Yorker and other publications. As a best-selling author, her books cover a range of topics and have been translated many times over to delight readers around the globe.