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Department of Mathematics

Old computing equipment

History and heritage

We have a long, proud history, with many distinguished mathematicians playing a role in our story.

Alan Turing statue in Sackville Gardens
An Alan Turing statue sits in Sackville Gardens, Manchester.

The Department of Mathematics was formed in 2004 with the merger of the mathematics Departments of the Victoria University of Manchester and UMIST.

It brought together two Departments of similar size and academic strength. Both were home to many famous mathematicians, from 'the creator of modern computing' Alan Turing to Sir Horace Lamb.

Their collective academic achievements set a standard to which we continue to strive today:

  • Horace Lamb

    Sir Horace Lamb (1849-1934)

    Contributed to applied mathematics: acoustics, seismology and fluid dynamics.

  • Lewis Fry Richardson

    Lewis Fry Richardson (1881-1953)

    Produced seminal work on numerical weather prediction and atmospheric turbulence.

  • Louis Mordell

    Louis Mordell (1888-1972)

    Distinguished number theorist; discovered the finite basis theorem while at Manchester.

  • Cornelius Lanczos

    Cornelius Lanczos (1893-1974)

    Discovered an exact solution to the Einstein field equation in general relativity.

  • Max Newman

    Max Newman (1897-1984)

    The first person in Britain to contribute to modern topology; an effective academic manager.

  • Sydney Goldstein

    Sydney Goldstein (1903-1989)

    Made fundamental contributions in fluid dynamics, especially aerodynamics.

  • Kathleen Ollerenshaw

    Kathleen Ollerenshaw (1912-2014)

    Mathematician, politician and astronomer; Lord Mayor of Manchester 1975-1976.

  • Alan Turing

    Alan Turing (1912-1954)

    A revered figure; considered the father of modern computing and artificial intelligence.

  • Hanna Neumann

    Hanna Neumann (1914-1971)

    A prominent group theorist known for her work on varieties of groups.

  • Phyllis Nicolson

    Phyllis Nicolson (1917-1968)

    Known for her work on the Crank-Nicolson method to help solve the heat equation.

  • James Lighthill

    James Lighthill (1924-1998)

    Known for work in hydrodynamics, wave mechanics and more.

  • Frank Adams

    Frank Adams (1930-1989)

    Made fundamental advances in algebraic topology and stable homotopy theory.

  • Joan Walsh

    Joan Walsh (1932-2017)

    Known for her contribution to the development of numerical analysis and scientific computing.

  • Maurice Priestly

    Maurice Priestly (1933-2013)

    Contributed to the spectral analysis of non-stationary time series and density estimation.

  • Brian Hartley

    Brian Hartley (1939-1994)

    Known for his outstanding work in many different areas of group theory.