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New Fellows of the Royal Society announced

The 2019 list of Fellows of the Royal Society has now been announced, and that means it’s time for us to spend a couple of minutes looking up which of them work in mathematics, the boss of sciences.

The new Fellows, who join a hugely prestigious list of great scientific thinkers (and Elon Musk), are being recognised for their “substantial contribution to the improvement of natural knowledge, including mathematics, engineering science and medical science”. The FRS has been described by The Guardian as “the equivalent of a lifetime achievement Oscar”.

This year’s intake includes three Fields medalists – Caucher Birkar (Cambridge) and Ashkay Venkatesh (Princeton) from 2018, and Manjul Bhargava (IAS) from 2014 – as well as Christopher Hacon (University of Utah), Peter Haynes (Cambridge), Roy Kerr (Christchurch, NZ), Jack Dongarra (Tennessee/Manchester), all working in mathematics or applied maths. There’s also medical statisticians Sarah C. Darby (Oxford) and Robert Tibshirani (Stanford), as well as six physicists and three computer scientists.

Read the full list:Royal Society announces 2019 Fellows

Maths at the Cheltenham Science Festival

The programme for this year’s Cheltenham Science Festival has now been released, and tickets go on sale to members today (general booking opens next Wednesday). We asked Cheltenham local and science festival regular Martin Whitworth to send us his pick of the events for the mathematically inclined.

Cheltenham Science Festival

Festival season will soon be upon us.  In a recently announced programme of over 200 events, the 2019 Cheltenham Science Festival includes many that will be of interest to the mathematically-minded, including events by maths presenters Marcus Du Sautoy, Ian Stewart, Matt Parker, Katie Steckles, Zoe Griffiths, Ben Sparks, Kyle D Evans and Hannah Fry.

Matt Parker does BBC GCSE maths revision videos

Stand-up mathematician and friend of the site Matt Parker has produced a set of videos for teacher resource site BBC Teach, aimed at GCSE maths students.

Scientists call for an end to statistical significance

A group of over 800 scientists have signed their names to an article published in Nature, explaining why statistical significance shouldn’t be relied on so heavily as a measure of the success of an experiment. We asked statistics buff Andrew Steele to explain.

History of maths competitions for secondary school students and undergraduates

British Society for the History of Mathematics

Two competitions have been announced by the British Society for the History of Mathematics.


The schools competition invites participants to “make a case for the most important/your favourite mathematician in the history of mathematics” by either writing an article or producing a video or multi-media project.

This competition is your chance to explore how mathematics has developed and achieved its status and who were the most important mathematicians in history who contributed to it. This year we would like you to concentrate on choosing one mathematician who has, in your opinion, been the most important person, your favourite, and to make the case for it – to explain his/her mathematics and to show their importance or what you think was special about it and them.

This is run with Plus Magazine and there are two categories for ages 11-15 and 16-19. The deadline for entries is 1st September 2019. Guidance, rules, etc. via BSHM Schools Plus Competition.


The Undergraduate Essay Competition invites essays on any topic in history of mathematics of no more than 2500 words in length and is open to people enrolled as undergraduates in UK and Irish universities in academic year 2018/19. The deadline is 21st June 2019. Guidance, rules, etc. via BSHM Undergraduate Essay Prize.

Recent mathematical awards

As well as the recent Abel Prize award to Karen Uhlenbeck, here are some other mathematical and related awards from this month.