Maths celebrates some welcome additions

May 6, 2005

Mathematicians became a protected species when Charles Clarke, the former education secretary, called mathematics a subject of national strategic importance.

Now, after a steady trickle of departmental and course closures, there is good news. This week's Times Higher carries advertisements for ten positions in expanding departments.

Birmingham University's department, which was rated 5 in the last research assessment exercise, is looking for four lecturers and, according to its website, a professor of pure mathematics.

Although the university wants to drop statistics, which gained only a 4 in the RAE, Robert Curtis, the acting head of school, is hoping to also advertise for three lecturers in applicable mathematics, a branch that includes statistics.

"It is not groundbreaking research, but it is very important," Professor Curtis said. "(But) the RAE seems to give vice-chancellors the excuse for closing down perfectly viable groups."

Southampton University's school is on the hunt for a lecturer in mathematics education, two pure and two applied lecturers and, via its website, a chair of pure maths.

James Vickers, professor of applied mathematics, said student recruitment was strong and the university saw maths as strategically critical for other research.

Sheffield University is advertising for a pure mathematics research associate.

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