Mathematics and Joint Schools

The College's mathematical community is very lively and is one of the largest in the University.

Courses Offered:

• BA/MMath Mathematics
• BA/MMathCompSci Mathematics and Computer Science
• BA/MMath Mathematics and Statistics
• BA/M MathPhil Mathematics and Philosophy

Undergraduate Prospectus Oxford Mathematical Institute

The Tutors
Professor Sakura Schafer-Nameki, Tutorial Fellow, works on String Theory and Supersymmetric Gauge Theories.
Professor David Conlon, Tutorial Fellow, has research interests in combinatorics and number theory. He is an expert in extremal and probabilistic combinatorics.
Professor Alexander Ritter, Tutorial Fellow, has research interests in geometry, in particular mirror symmetry and Floer theory.
Professor Alex Paseau, Tutorial Fellow in Philosophy, holds a BA in mathematics and has interests in the philosophy of mathematics, logic, metaphysics, and epistemology.
Dr Athena Picarelli, Nomura Junior Research Fellow in Mathematical Finance.
Professor Philip Candelas, Professorial Fellow, is an expert in string theory and the current Rouse Ball Professor in Mathematics.
Professor Nick Woodhouse, a Senior Research Fellow and president of the Clay Mathematics Institute, has research interests in relativity, geometric aspects of quantum theory, and integrable systems.
Professor Sir Roger Penrose, an Emeritus Fellow and former Rouse Ball Professor, and one of the most influential mathematicians of recent times.

We admit one of the largest cohorts of mathematicians in the university each year, with an average of 9 students each year (for comparison: approximately 160 maths students are accepted each year across 38 colleges). This sizeable group of very able students creates a stimulating environment for mathematics undergraduates at Wadham.

A student's perspective

Mathematics and Wadham College

Wadham College has a strong tradition in mathematics. The Royal Society had its genesis in meetings held in Wadham and was instrumental in establishing England's mathematical reputation during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. One of the key protagonists of the time was Sir Christopher Wren (1632-1723). Wren was one of the leading mathematicians in those times, even though later he became world renowned as an architect. (More). 

The mathematical tradition of Wadham was further strengthened by the association with the Rouse Ball Professorship of Mathematics, established in 1929. This has brought to Wadham a very distinguished list of mathematicians: E. A. Milne (1929-1950); C. A. Coulson (1952-1972); Roger Penrose (1973-1999, currently Emeritus fellow at Wadham); and Philip Candelas (1999-current).

Roger Penrose, the former Rouse Ball Professor, is known for his influential work in mathematical physics, in particular for his contributions to general relativity and cosmology. He has received a number of prizes and awards, including the 1988 Wolf Prize for physics, which he shared with Stephen Hawking for their contribution to our understanding of the universe. Philip Candelas, the current Rouse Ball Professor, is a renowned theoretical physicist, notable for his contributions in the field of quantum field theory (QFT) especially the renormalisation of QFT near black holes. He has also made influential contributions both in string theory and in mirror symmetry.

Wadham has had numerous students who went on to successful careers in mathematics, such as Sam Howison (currently chairman of the Mathematical Institute) and Marcus Du Sautoy (the Simonyi Professors for the Public Understanding of Science since 2008, when Richard Dawkins retired from the position).

Professor Nick Woodhouse, currently a professorial fellow at Wadham, became a fellow at Wadham in 1977. His influence on mathematics in the university at large has been very significant. As chairman of the mathematics department he was the driving force behind the organization and the construction of the new Mathematical Institute. Nick became the president of the Clay Mathematics Institute in 2012, one of the most important mathematics foundations which supports mathematics, and which is well-known for its million-dollar "Millennium Prize Problems".

The current tutorial fellows are David Conlon, Alexander Ritter and Sakura Schafer-Nameki. David and Alexander were both Junior Research Fellows in Cambridge before joining Wadham in 2011 and 2012, respectively. David Conlon did his PhD at Cambridge in 2009 under Tim Gowers. He is an expert in extremal and probabilistic combinatorics and he is interested also in number theory and analysis. Alexander Ritter did his PhD at M.I.T. in 2009 under Paul Seidel. He is an expert in Floer theory and mirror symmetry, which is an interplay between geometry, algebra and analysis. Sakura joined Wadham as tutorial fellow in 2016. She did her PhD in Cambridge in 2003. Her research interests are in String Theory and Supersymmetric Gauge Theories and their relations to Mathematics, in particular Geometry, and Particle Physics.

Wadham College is also active in outreach activities. The college hosts the summer PROMYS Europe program for ambitious high-school students, a program that is linked with the famous PROMYS program in the United States. (More

Roger Penrose wrote the best-selling "The Emperor's New Mind" and "The Road to Reality". Nick Woodhouse has written several undergraduate textbooks on relativity and mechanics. Andrew Hodges, a former tutorial fellow, who taught at Wadham between 1986-2016, authored the best-selling "Alan Turing: The Enigma" and "One to Nine".

Teaching Structure
The Oxford mathematics courses combine university lectures with college tutorials and classes run by the department (the Mathematical Institute). Tutorials are used particularly in the early years of the course and allow for individual support from experienced mathematicians. Tutors not only help their pupils to make the transition from school mathematics to the deeper exploration of ideas that they meet at degree level, but also provide guidance on the different pathways through the three- and four-year courses at Oxford and on wider matters. The college also accepts applications for mathematics and computer science (the computer science part of the course is tutored by our colleagues in Balliol College), and mathematics and philosophy (the philosophy part is tutored by Dr Alex Paseau).

In the third (and fourth) year, teaching is centred on the Mathematical Institute, where lectures are given on a huge range of specialist topics in diverse areas of pure and applied mathematics. The list begins at the pure end of the spectrum with topics from logic, set theory, algebra, analysis, geometry and number theory, and branches out at the applied end into classical and modern applications in the physical and life sciences and in finance. The lectures are supported by classes which put undergraduates in direct touch with mathematicians who are doing research at the forefront of their subject.

Further Information
For more information on the course and applying please see the Undergraduate Prospectus.

Current Fellows and Lecturers

Professor Philip Candelas (Professorial Fellow)

Professor David Conlon (Tutorial Fellow)

Professor Tom Melham (Lecturer in Computer Science, Balliol College)

Professor Alexander Paseau

Professor Roger Penrose

Dr Athena Picarelli

Professor Alexander Ritter (Tutorial Fellow)

Professor Sakura Schafer-Nameki (Tutorial Fellow)