Message from the Head of Department - Prof David van Dyk


The Department of Mathematics at Imperial College London is a leading international centre for research and teaching within one of the world's most prestigious universities. It not only ranks consistently among the very best UK Mathematics Departments, but is also one of the largest, with 100 academic staff (including 46 professors), 16 teaching fellows, 81 research associates, over 200 PhD students, 200 MSc students, and nearly 1000 undergraduate students. With grants and external funding exceeding £7.5M per year, the department has sufficient scale to:

  • make world-leading and discipline-defining contributions across the breadth of Mathematics and Statistics;
  • identify key challenges where Mathematics can impact science, the economy, and society; and
  • solve outstanding mathematical problems by developing fundamental new tools and apply these tools to diverse real-world problems.

Central to this vision is fostering a creative, inclusive, and supportive culture where research students receive excellent training and where staff and students at all levels realise their full potential.

The Department’s research strategy aligns synergistically with Imperial’s academic strategy and its research ethos, which emphasises working across disciplines, quantitative approaches to research, translating ideas into impact, and collaboration with stakeholders locally, nationally, and internationally. These principles permeate the Department’s research culture. Its international leadership is fortified by recent high-level initiatives including the CNRS-Imperial de Moivre Research Laboratory (1-of-37 CNRS International Laboratories worldwide across all subjects, only one in UK), the CFM-Imperial Institute for Quantitative Finance (with French institutions), and the Imperial-TU Munich Mathematical Sciences Hub.

There is great demand, both in research and in industry, for well-trained, highly qualified mathematicians and statisticians. To meet this demand, the Department offers several three and four-year undergraduate teaching programmes, coordinates with Imperial’s Department of Computing to offer a Joint Mathematics and Computing undergraduate programme, and offers five MSc courses, in Applied Mathematics, Pure Mathematics, Statistics, Mathematics and Finance, and Machine Learning and Data Science (online). We also host an extensive PhD programme, including EPSRC-funded places in several Centres for Doctoral Training. As evidence of their quality, our portfolio of training courses is highly over-subscribed.

The Department acts as a unified whole in most respects, but for administrative convenience is organised into Sections with distinctive research directions: Pure Mathematics, Applied Mathematics and Mathematical Physics (this Section includes Numerical Analysis), Statistics and Mathematical Finance.

Our History

Robert Hunt - Father of the Department

Robert Willis - Lecturer in Applied Mechanics 1853-1868

Thomas Minchin Goodeve - First Professor 1869-1894

John Perry Professor 1896-1913

Andrew Russell Forsyth - Chief Professor 1913-1923

Forsyth and Staff, 1913

Forsyth and Staff, 1913 - Seated: Wrigley, Forsyth, Richardson, Sillick
Forsyth and Staff, 1913 - Seated: Wrigley, Forsyth, Richardson, Sillick

Alfred North Whitehead - Chief Professor 1923-1924

Sydney Chapman

Find out more about the Chapman Fellowships

Autocode and The Imperial College Computing Engine