Saturday, 24 October 2009

Award triumph for Greenwich mathematicians!

Chris Bailey and his team Chris Bailey and his team at Greenwich have won the Times Higher Award for 'Outstanding Engineering Research Team of the Year" for 2009. This is wonderful news for the University and the Department of Mathematical Sciences!

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Greenwich podcasts!

A number of Greenwich mathematicians have made podcasts about their work which you can download from Travels in a Mathematical World. (This site, maintained by Peter Rowlett of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, has many fascinating podcasts about mathematics and mathematicians.)

A new podcast is added every week: this week's one (Number 41) is by Professor Ed Galea of the Fire Safety Engineering Group at Greenwich. Earlier podcasts by Greenwich people about their work at Greenwich are numbers 16 (Professor Chris Bailey), 20 (Professor Choi-Hong Lai), and 29 (Noel-Ann Bradshaw). In addition Noel-Ann Bradshaw has recorded a series of podcasts on the history of mathematics - these are numbers 2 (Newton and Leibniz), 6 (Galois), 11 (Euler), 13 (Nightingale), 17 (Al-Khwarizmi), 21 (Turing), 25 (Fibonacci) and 30 (Ramanujan).

Sunday, 11 October 2009

The great Tom Lehrer

Mathematicians of my generation were brought up on the records of Tom Lehrer, who sang satirical songs as a sideline to his maths career. I'm grateful to Sandy Galbraith for sending this link to Lehrer singing about maths: some of these I didn't know!

Friday, 2 October 2009

Keith Moffatt awarded 2009 David Crighton Medal

Keith Moffatt
Professor Keith Moffatt FRS of Cambridge University has been awarded the 2009 David Crighton Medal by the LMS and the IMA. You can read about Professor Moffatt's work on the LMS website (follow the link "Prizes").

Two colleagues at Greenwich have expressed particular pleasure at the announcement.
Professor Ed Galea of our Fire Safety Engineering Group says "This is wonderful news. Much of my PhD was based around the work of Keith Moffatt. I can remember spending months trying to understand some of the work in his papers on magnetohydrodynamics and star formation. And when I finally did understand it I thought how elegant and simple it was, which made me feel both immensely pleased and immensely stupid at the same time!"

Valdis Bojarevics, Reader in our Computational Science and Engineering Group, says, "Good news indeed! This jiggles my memory to one of the first encounters with this remarkable man back in 1981 when I was demonstrating to the prominent visitor, Prof. Keith Moffatt, a rotating vortex generation in a mercury experiment passing a thousand amperes current. As usual the so called 'generals' effect happened, and the thing did not work initially as expected: the 'pinch' effect with a loud bang and splashing of the weak acid solution on top of the mercury. We ended both hiding at the bottom of the experimental table... Keith was so impressed, that we were invited to publish this in the Journal of Fluid Mechanics ( he was the editor at that time), [V.Bojarevics, E.Shcherbinin. Azimuthal rotation in the axisymmetric meridional flow due to an electric current source. - Journal of Fluid Mechanics, (1983) vol. 126, 413.] I met him on several occasions, his talks are always the top attraction at the conferences. His publications are available online at"