4th Floor Opening, 30th October 2019

31 March 2020

At a party on 30th October 2019 attended by the Provost Professor Michael Arthur, and Dean of the Faculty of Mathematical and Phys­ical Sciences Professor Ivan Parkin, the Depart­ment celebrated the official opening of the 4th Floor of 25 Gordon Street. Elizabeth Critchley, an alumna of UCL Mathematics, gave a short talk and cut the ribbon to formally open the new space. The provision of this new and ideally located space suitable for teaching, research and collaboration in mathematics im­mediately below the Department’s long-term occupancy of floors 5-8 realises a long-held dream. Some senior colleagues even claim the idea of expanding to other floors of 25 Gordon Street was mooted as early the 1960s!

The near doubling of staff and researchers since 2010, built on successful recruitment of highly qualified undergraduates and research grant successes, made the previous accommo­dation unsustainable. Several business cases later and with the strong support of Professor Parkin and, crucially, with the goodwill of the UCL Students’ Union, the previous occupiers of the 4th floor, who had their neighbouring spaces improved as part of the same project, the project became reality.

Works involving refurbishment and rebuilding of the 4th floor commenced in spring 2019 and were completed before the start of the 2019-20 academic year.

The new 4th floor provides offices for 16 staff, a tutorial/meeting room with audio-visual facilities, a staff and PhD student social room, and space for 20 PhD students. At the same time, the upper floors were improved with new flooring, signage, re-painting and display of prominent mathematical ‘art work’ adorning the walls and staircases.

The Head of Department Professor Helen Wilson, Departmental Manager Helen Higgins and Deputy Departmental Manager Soheni Francis along with colleagues in UCL Estates can take great credit in their leadership, design and management of this transformative project. Their efforts have led to a space with a genuine sense of identity, supportive of teaching, research and collaboration and which enhances the experience of students, staff and visitors.

From Left: Provost Professor Michael Arthur, Professor Helen Wilson, Elizabeth Critchley and Dean of the MAPS Faculty Professor Ivan Parkin

Author: Prof Robb McDonald, March 2020