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How sums could help save the world - Institute for Mathematical Sciences opens at Imperial College London

For immediate use
Tuesday 18 July 2006

A new centre using mathematics to tackle a host of global challenges is officially opened today at Imperial College London.

The Institute for Mathematical Sciences is a multidisciplinary enterprise applying mathematical understandings and techniques to issues including climate change, the control of infectious diseases and financial modelling.

Dr David Potter (left) and Sir Richard Sykes celebrate the opening of the new Institute

It will be declared open today by Imperial alumnus David Potter, founder of Psion and inventor of the electronic personal organiser, who donated £1.25 million to the project. Dr Potter, who completed his PhD in Computational Physics at Imperial in 1970, says:

"Much of the research carried out at Imperial has the potential to make a real difference to the lives of people around the world and the Institute is very much within this spirit. For this reason, I'm delighted to be a founding donor and to be returning to the College to formally open it today."

Lord May gives the newly-opened Institute's first lecture

The Institute currently runs seven research programmes, with themes ranging from biology and medicine to banking and finance. It is made up of around 50 researchers including postdoctoral researchers, PhD students, visiting academics from around the world and permanent staff seconded from departments across Imperial. Explaining the impetus for such a centre, Imperial's Rector Sir Richard Sykes Opens in new window says:

"It has long been recognised that mathematics is vital to understanding the key research areas in all the Faculties at Imperial. The aim of the Institute is to bring together mathematicians and researchers in our Faculties of Natural Sciences, Engineering and Medicine and our Business School to tackle fundamental problems."

The opening will be marked with a lecture this afternoon by Lord May of Oxford, entitled 'Uses and abuses of mathematics in biology'. This will be followed a champagne reception led by Sir Richard and Dr Potter.


For further information contact:

Abigail Smith
Imperial College London Press Office
Tel: 020 7594 6701

Notes to editors:

About Imperial College London

Consistently rated in the top three UK university institutions, Imperial College London is a world leading science-based university whose reputation for excellence in teaching and research attracts students (11,000) and staff (6,000) of the highest international quality.
Innovative research at the College explores the interface between science, medicine, engineering and management and delivers practical solutions that enhance the quality of life and the environment - underpinned by a dynamic enterprise culture.