Norman Biggs is Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at LSE. Follow him on Twitter: @norman_biggs. In this new blog article, Norman comments on the recent discory of a Babylonian clay tablet thought to contain material that resembles ‘calculus’. He thinks the tablet describes a universal method of measuring a cumulative effect
The implementation of detection procedures by Dr Pavel Gapeev, Department of Mathematics, by certain analytic research groups in the financial industry led to improvements in the existing methods for trading and hedging in financial markets.
Read Pavel's impact case study here.
Paul Dütting is a Senior Researcher at ETH Zürich; during the the academic year 2014-2015, he was an LSE Fellow in the Department of Mathematics. In this new blog article, Paul considers the Federal Communications Commission Incentive Auctions and the Algorithmic Game Theory processes behind them.
Date: Monday 7 March 2016
Venue: Old Theatre, Old Building
Speaker: Professor H. Peyton Young
Chair: Professor Martin Anthony
Peyton Young is Centennial Professor of Mathematics at the London School of Economics. He is also a Professorial Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford and Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, Washington DC. He is noted for his research on the evolution of social norms and institutions, the diffusion of innovations, and the measurement of systemic risks in the financial system. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, a Fellow of the Econometric Society, and a former President of the Game Theory Society.
In this lecture, Peyon considered how new ideas, technologies, and ways of doing things are the key to economic growth and development. Yet it often takes many years after the introduction of an innovation before it comes into widespread use. Delays result from many issues; we examined these in the context of several well-documented cases. The event was chaired by Martin Anthony (@MartinHGAnthony), Professor of Mathematics and Head of Department of Mathematics at LSE.
The video of the lecture can be viewed via our YouTube channel here with accompanying slides available here.
March 2016: Alumni Reception: celebrating 20 Years of the Department
On 1 March 2016 we hosted a special evening reception for alumni, staff (both past and present) and current MSc and PhD students in honour of a momentous occasion: the Department of Mathematics' 20th anniversary.
This was a great chance to reconnect and build networks, catching up with familiar faces and meeting new LSE faculty and students. We loved celebrating with our friends! A full write-up on the event (and more photos) can be here.
February 2016: Congratulations to Mathieu and Marta!
More happy news for the Department and our fabulous MPhil/PhD students. Mathieu Dubois is now Dr Dubois, having been awarded his PhD in Mathematics. Furthermore, Marta Casetti has received her Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in Mathematics. For details of their thesis titles, supervisors, and the ever-growing list of PhD alumni of the department, please view our PhD "Roll of Honour". Congratulations to both Mathieu and Marta - do stay in touch!
Maura Paterson(Birkbeck, University of London) visited our Department to present her seminar on “Applications of Disjoint Difference Families”. She also kindly took time out with Julia Böttcher (LSE) to answer a few questions on her research interests and how she takes a break from mathematics. Read the full interview here.
February 2016: Student visit to Bletchley Park
On Saturday 6 February, a group of our MSc Applicable Mathematics students visited Bletchley Park, the iconic heritage site of World War 2 codebreaking. The most famous of the cipher systems to be broken at Bletchley Park was the Enigma, subject of the 2014 award-winning film, "The Imitation Game".
A little over a year since his passing, Adam Ostaszewki, Professor of Mathematics at LSE, remembers Anatole Beck, our friend and colleague, with input from Steve Alpern and Kenneth Binmore. He was a Leonardo-like mathematician with awesome insight and inquiry and is much missed by the Depatment.
February 2016: Congratulations to Chlump!
Chlump Chatkupt has been awarded his PhD in Mathematics. For details of his thesis title, supervisors, and the list of PhD alumni of the department, please view our PhD "Roll of Honour". Congratulations Dr Chatkupt!
Ewan Davies is a third-year PhD student in the Department of Mathematics. His research is on graph theory, the study of connected systems of abstract ‘things’ which we call graphs. In his latest blog post, he develops a new method for understanding mathematical models in these graphs, using particles of a gas or atoms in a molecule as examples.
We are pleased to announce the launch of an interdisciplinary reading group on game theory which is jointly organised by LSE's Mathematics and Philosophy Departments.
Primary focus of the group is on foundational and philosophical issues in game theory, but applications will also play a role. We particularly aim to promote interdisciplinary research projects among graduate students from any disciplines.
The reading group is launched this term but we hope it will endure beyond this academic year, and become an established group for exchange of ideas, discussion and research in game theory. We believe this will promote and strengthen the position Game Theory occupies at LSE and highlight its status as an important interdisciplinary science at our school.
Depending on time constraints and participants’ interests, in Lent Term 2016 we will focus on the following topics:
Epistemic Game Theory
Bounded rationality in games
Evolutionary Game Theory
Algorithmic Game Theory
Games of Incomplete Information.
The group will meet every second week starting Tuesday January 19, 16.00-17.30 in LAK2.06, Lakatos Building, LSE. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Date: Monday 18 January 2016
Venue: Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building
Speaker: Professor Robin Wilson
Chair: Professor Jan van den Heuvel
Robin Wilson is Emeritus Professor of Pure Mathematics at the Open University and a Visiting Professor in the Department of Mathematics, LSE. In this lecture, he explored the mathematics of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, China, India, and the Mayans. The event was chaired by Jan van den Heuvel (), Professor of Mathematics, Department of Mathematics, LSE.
With the season finale set to air just before Christmas, Norman Biggs, Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at LSE, has addressed some questions arising from the scoring system of the popular UK television programme Strictly Come Dancing. Taking the limited data the programme reveals, Norman shows that it is still possible to deduce public voting trends.
December 2015: PhD Christmas competition: best mathematics joke
For the last few years, the Department has run a (somewhat silly...) Christmas competition for our PhD students. For 2015, we asked them all to write some cracker jokes for our Christmas party - the only rule was they had to be maths related. Here were some of our top entries:
- Why does the Matrix Algebra teacher only lecture at home? ... Because he rarely commutes!
- Why was the Python bad at sums? ... Because he wasn't much of an Adder!
- Why did the topologist marry her husband? ... They simply connected.
And the winner was Matthew Jenssen:
- Why did the mathematician name his dog Cauchy? ... Because he left a residue at every pole!
Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas everyone!
Danny Quah (Professor of Economics and International Development at LSE, Director of the Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre, at LSE’s Institute of Global Affairs, and a Senior Fellow at LSE IDEAS) considers large economic facts about the world that mathematics helps uncover. In his blog article "The world’s tightest cluster of people", Danny tries to locate the smallest area of our planet containing a majority of the world's population.
December 2015: Festive Bake-Off
Staff from the Department of Mathematics got their competitive Christmas bake on, cooking up a feast of sweet treats and offering them up to the gingham altar. It was a closely fought contest of gingerbread versus puff pastry, with the ultimate winnings being awarded jointly to a marvellous selection of Plätzchen and some fabulously fruity Festive Flapjacks. Best of all, our fun and frolics raised a great contribution to the Crisis at Christmas fund.
December 2015: Public Event: Using Mathematics: Making Big Economics Visible to the Human Eye
World-renowned Professor Danny Quah (Professor of Economics and International Development, LSE) discussed large economic facts about the world which mathematics helps to uncover. The event was hosted jointly by the LSESU Applicable Maths Society and the Department of Mathematics and was chaired by Professor Jan van den Heuvel (Mathematics, LSE).
The video of the lecture can be viewed here with accompanying slides available here.
December 2015: Departmental Christmas party
As we come to the end of Michaelmas Term 2015, all staff and PhD students joined together at our Christmas lunch to celebrate a busy and successful year. We've seen lots of exciting changes and welcomed a number of new members to the team so this was a perfect opportunity for everyone to catch up, relax and begin their countdown to Christmas and the New Year. Have a fantastic break, everyone!
November 2015: Giacomo Zambelli (LSE) awarded the 2015 Lanchester Prize by INFORMS
Giacomo Zambelli, Assistant Professor in LSE’s Mathematics Department (with co-authors Gerard Cornuejols (Tepper School of Business) and Michele Conforti (University of Padova)) has been awarded the prestigious Frederick W. Lanchester Prize for 2015 by the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS), the largest professional body in the world in the field of operations research, management science, and analytics. The prize, which honours “the best contribution to operations research and the management sciences published in English in the past three years”, was awarded for their book “Integer Programming”, published by Springer in December 2014. It is of note that the prize, conferred since 1954, is so selective that it was not awarded four of the previous six
Martin Anthony, head of the Mathematics Department, said “I am delighted that Giacomo’s outstanding work in mathematical operations research and his ability to communicate it has been recognized by the award of this prestigious prize. The prize committee has noted that this major book ‘will serve the next generation of researchers to further advance the field in the years ahead’. We congratulate Giacomo on this achievement.”
Viewers of Channel 4's intense reality television show Hunted might have been stunned by the degree to which our behaviour can be monitored and predicted by hidden surveillance systems and the state. Tom Lidbetter's blog article "Being “Hunted”: how randomness can help" looks at the best randomised strategies both for searching and hiding using game theory.
October 2015: Boat Party
On Thursday 8th October, our MSc Applicable Mathematics, MSc Financial Mathematics, PhD students and staff got together for a boat party on the River Thames. Setting off from Westminster Pier and cruising down to Greenwich. Along the way they were able to enjoy some of London's many well-known landmarks such as the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye, Tower Bridge, Canary Wharf, Cutty Sark and the Old Royal Navel College. It was a great evening and an excellent start to the new term!
October 2015: Departmental Teaching Prize Winners – 2014-15
We are very happy to announce the winners of the Departmental Teaching Prizes for academic year 2014-15: Hao Hang, Matthew Jenssen, Amal Merhi & Barnaby Roberts. The photos show Jan van den Heuvel (Head of Department 2011-15) awarding them with certificates and prizes to thank them for the excellent teaching they delivered as Graduate Teaching Assistants.
October 2015: Maths at LSE Blog launch
The Department celebrated the launch of our blog (Maths at LSE) by joining together with Communications and Research colleagues across the School for an afternoon reception. We are very grateful to Adrian Thomas (Director of Communications), Chris Gilson (Managing Editor LSE USAPP blog) and Sierra Williams (Managing Editor LSE Impact blog) for presenting their experiences of academic blogging, social media and communications strategy. It was a very fun, informative event and really inspired us all to get blogging! Some great photos, captured by Dr Tugkan Batu, can be found here.
September 2015: Macmillan Coffee Morning
The Department took part in the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning to raise funds for Macmillan. Lots of staff got their bake on, with sweet treats including Black Forest gateaux, luschious lemon fairies and chocolate orange cupcakes, and savoury delights such as Spanish tortilla and feta parcels. It was a great opportunity to shares elevenses and raise money for a fantastic cause.
August 2015: Congratulations to Pucheng and Yavor!
Pucheng Shi and Yavor Stoev have been awarded their PhDs in Mathematics. For details of their thesis titles, supervisors, and the ever-growing list of PhD alumni of the department, please view our PhD "Roll of Honour". Congratulations Drs Shi and Stoev!
August 2015: Combinatorics Colloquia 2015 report published
The write up from our Combinatorics Colloquia 2015 is now available to read online - just follow this link. It provides a summary of all our speakers' presentations and some great photos which really capture the sense of the event. Join us next year for our 10 year anniversary!
August 2015: New seminar series within the department
We are very pleased to add the Seminar on Operations Research to our seminar series, as of Michaelmas Term 2015. The series will run on Wednesday afternoons, from 4pm - 5pm in OLD.1.26 (Old Building, LSE). The first seminar takes places on 2 September, when Zeev Nutov (The Open University of Israel) will speak on 'On LP-Relaxations for the Tree Augmentation Problem'.
Past News and Events
For information on past news and events in the Department, please click here for our news archive. Please note that some links may now be out of date as this page is simply a historical record and is not updated.