Image of the Churchill College Crest
Churchill College

Advanced Students
The Place
The Courses
The Work
The Life
The Cost
Decisions, decisions
Open Days
How to apply
Special Cases
More questions?
The Student View



Search the site:

About Us | Contact Us | Jobs | Links | What's On | Where are we?

The Courses: Mathematics

Useful links:
  1. University Undergraduate Prospectus entry: 

  3. University Guide to Courses Entry (more information than is available in 1.): 

  5. Faculty/Department Website: 

  7. Alternative Prospectus entry (written by students): 


Mathematics: A Churchill Perspective

The Churchill College Lecturers
Dr Andrew Tristram
Dr Andrew Tristram
Dr James Norris
Dr James Norris
Dr Chris Tout
Dr Christopher Tout
Dr Jiannis Pachos
Dr Jiannis Pachos

Dr Andrew Tristram (Director of Studies, Pure) is one of the College's most senior Fellows. His interests lie in knot theory and he is a keen athlete.

Dr James Norris specializes in the study of Probability and Random Processes. These are branches of mathematics concerned with predicting the behaviour of systems subject to uncertainty but where the uncertainty can be quantified - a simple example would be the outcome of a series of coin tosses. A more general and rather pervasive class of examples is known as Markov Chains. See the textbook Markov Chains (CUP 1998) for an introductory account. The content of Chapter 1 forms the basis of a second year course in the Mathematical Tripos. Dr Norris' research interests cover a wide range of topics ranging from Brownian motion and stochastic calculus to large systems of interacting random particles used to model certain physical phenomena.

Dr Christopher Tout (Director of Studies, Applied) came to Churchill in 2000 to teach mathematics, all aspects of which have been a life-long interest. Today he specialises in applied mathematics and theoretical physics which he uses every day in his research as the John Couch Adams Astronomer at the University's Institute of Astronomy, situated just beyond the College boundary. The study of the stars incorporates all aspects of modern mathematical physics from compressible fluid dynamics through quantum mechanics, relativity, statistical physics, nuclear physics and even solid state physics. Ultimately the problems boil down to the solutions to non-linear partial differential equations from which spring our understanding of the evolution of stars from their birth in cosmic clouds, through their youth like the Sun, as middle aged giants and to old age as white dwarfs, neutron stars or black holes. Dr Tout has lived on three continents and experienced mathematics taught in a number of universities throughout the world. Nowhere has he found a course as comprehensive as this one. It may be more challenging but if you enjoy mathematics in any form it is well worth it.

Dr Jiannis K. Pachos came to Churchill College in 2003. He works at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics on the subject of Quantum Information and Quantum Computation. With a particular interest in physical systems and their impact on theoretical concepts, Dr Pachos is working on various aspects of quantum information, a topic that aims to understand the possibilities quantum mechanics is offering for practical implementation such as computing, cryptography and communication. This field ranges from the study and control of physical systems with small particles such as atoms or electrons, to the theoretical development and extensions of information science toward the quantum realm.

Other Mathematician Fellows at Churchill College
Dr Graham Allan
Dr Graham Allan
Prof Alec Boksenberg
Prof Alec Boksenberg
Sir Hermann Bondi
Sir Hermann Bondi
Dr Graham Dixon
Dr Graham Dixon
Prof Douglas Gough
Prof Douglas Gough
Prof Geoffrey Grimmett
Prof Geoffrey Grimmett

Dr Graham Allan is actively researching Banach algebras and Fréchet algebras.

Prof Alec Boksenberg was formerly Director of the Royal Greenwich Observatory. He now works at the Institute of Astronomy.

Sir Hermann Bondi is a mathematician and cosmologist who, with Fred Hoyle and Thomas Gold, formulated the steady-state theory of the Universe. During World War II he worked in the British Admiralty. He served as Master of Churchill College.

Dr Graham Dixon runs the CAMSIS project.

Prof Douglas Gough is Director of the Institute of Astronomy. He is one of the founding fathers of the study of helioseismology.

Prof Geoffrey Grimmett is Head of the Pure Mathematics Department. His research interests are in probability theory, combinatorial theory, stochastic models in statistical physics and probabilistic number theory.

Preparing for Entertainment after a Mathematicians' Dinner

The Mathematics Course

Churchill admits about sixteen undergraduates each year to read Mathematics, Mathematics with Physics or Mathematics with Computer Science. Candidates are normally taking Mathematics and Further Mathematics though the course is accessible to candidates with only single-subject mathematics. In such cases the study of extra further mathematics modules is an advantage to those only able to take a single mathematics course.

The University Mathematics course covers pure and applied mathematics and statistics, including applications of mathematics to physics, to decision-making processes, to financial modelling and to numerical techniques for computation. It is the course for prospective academic mathematicians but it is by no means only for them. Its graduates go into both academic and industrial research, into the computing industry and the financial world, into teaching, into management and administration, and many other careers.

The course is among the most demanding undergraduate mathematics courses in the world. If you want to learn as much as possible of mathematics and all its applications and are prepared to work hard to do so, then Churchill is the place for you. If you enjoy mathematics, we hope you will apply to us. We look forward to teaching you in due course. 

Mathematics with Physics 

This course provides an alternative way of specialising in theoretical physics to those provided by the Mathematics and Natural Sciences courses on their own. It is a distinct course only in the first year. After that, its students may transfer into the Natural Sciences course to specialise in physics. The first year combines material from both the Mathematics and the Natural Sciences (Physics) courses, about three-quarters being from the Mathematics course. Further mathematics is provided instead of experimental sciences that form a part of the first year Natural Sciences course. 

Mathematics with Computer Science 

This course provides an alternative way of specialising in Computer Science to that provided by the Computer Science course on its own. It is a distinct course only in the first year. After that, its students may transfer into the full Computer Science course. The first year combines material from both the Mathematics and the Computer Science courses, about three-quarters taken from Mathematics. 

An aerial photograph of the new University Mathematics buildings. The lower road running from left to right is Madingley Road and the residential courts in the immediate foreground are those of Churchill College. So you can't get much closer to the department than Churchill if you want to study Mathematics.

Go to the index of courses available at Churchill.

Send comments or suggestions to | Credits
This page was last updated on 18-Mar-2003