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Departmental News and Events

May 2016:Philippe van Basshuysen – Towards a fairer distribution of refugees

philippe-van-bashuysenWith the current refugee crisis showing no sign of abating, a fair and efficient method for distributing people to different countries is urgently needed. In this new post (which was originally published on the Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method blog), Philippe van Basshuysen looks at matching systems. 


May 2016: 2016 Colloquia in Combinatorics

2016 sees the tenth year of the Colloquia in Combinatorics and we were excited to celebrate this milestone by making this Colloquia our biggest and best yet. And that's just what we did on 11-12 May, hosting two consecutive one-day events at QMUL and LSE.  Read more about the event here.


May 2016: new blog article from LSE alumna, Tanya Flower featuring insider career tips

Tanya FlowersTanya Flower graduated in July 2013 with an undergraduate degree in Maths and Economics from LSE.  She now works as an Assistant Economist in the Office for National Statistics (ONS).  In this new blog article, Tanya talks about how she wisely used her time at University to undertake placements which helped her stand out from the crowd and gives advice to those considering careers in amths and statistics.  Tanya also gives us important insight inot her current role at ONS.  Read the full article here. Thank you Tanya, and well done!

May 2016: And the winners are...

Summer Term is a time for celebration and we're very pleased to announce the following winners in 2016:

Katirtzoglou, Eleni

LSESU Teaching Excellence Award Winner in Innovative Teaching: Dr Eleni Katirtzoglou (Mathematics).  Students from all over the LSE nominate their teachers for the LSESU Awards, and Eleni is to be congratulated on this significant achievement.


Julia BottcherLSE Teaching Promotion Award: Dr Julia Böttcher, on promotion to Associate Professor, was also awarded a Major Review teaching prize for her outstanding teaching. Congratulations to Julia.



  • LSE Class Teacher Awards: Barnaby Roberts, Michael Yiasemides, Elisabeth Grieger, Phil Johnson, Tom Lidbetter. Well done to them all.
  • DepartmentalPrizes for New Class Teachers (those in their first two years of teaching for us): Aaron Lin, Amal Merhi and Michael Yiasemides.Thank you to you all.

 Photos of all our prize winners can be viewed here.

May 2016: New Research Award

Veraart, LuitgardDr Luitgard Veraart, Mathematics, has been awarded a Bank of England George Fellowship to develop a rigorous methodology to assess systemic risk when information about the underlying financial network is only partially available. This will enable regulators such as the Bank of England to account for higher-order financial contagion effects in macroprudential stress tests even if the full network is not observable.  Congratulations Luitgard!


April 2016: New blog post: Norman Biggs - Calculus on Clay?

Norman BiggsNorman 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


April 2016: Improvements in the sequential change-point detection schemes for finance

Gapeev_PavelThe 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.



April 2016: Paul Dütting – Designing auctions for re-allocating spectrum rights

Paul Duetting profilePaul 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.


March 2016: Public Lecture: The Diffusion of Innovations: why does it take so long for new ideas to take hold?

Young, PeytonDate: Monday 7 March 2016
Time:  6.30-8pm
Venue: Old Theatre, Old Building
Speaker: Professor H. Peyton Young
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

cakeOn 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!

February 2016: 5 minutes with Maura Paterson

Maura Paterson2Maura 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".

January 2016: A tribute to Anatole Beck (1930-2014)

Anatole Beck1A 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!

January 2016: Ewan Davies – Counting the number of ways a gas can fill a room

EwanEwan 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.



January 2016: Joint Mathematics and Philosophy Reading Group on Game Theory

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 seminar@maths.lse.ac.uk.

January 2016: Public Lecture: Non-Western Mathematics

Wilson, RobinDate: Monday 18 January 2016
Time:  6.30-8pm
Venue: Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building
Speaker: Professor Robin Wilson
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 (@JanvadeHe), Professor of Mathematics, Department of Mathematics, LSE.

December 2015: Norman Biggs – Strictly not dancing

StrictlyWith 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!

December 2015: Danny Quah – The world’s tightest cluster of people

figure 3Danny 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

crisisStaff 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

Quah2World-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

Xmas dinner

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

Zambelli, GiacomoGiacomo 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

Integer Programming


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.”


October 2015: Tom Lidbetter (LSE) - Being Hunted

Hunted_webViewers 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

Teaching prizes 2014-15We 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

BlogLaunchPicThe 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

cc2015 webThe 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.