Applied mathematics research

Applied mathematics is the application of mathematical methods in other fields. We study a wide range of applied problems, from mathematical biology to industrial mathematics and quantum chemistry.

Inside a Menger sponge

Research topics


In mathematics, dynamics is the study of systems in which a function describes the time dependence of a point in a geometrical space.

Our research in this area covers a range of topics including heteroclinic cycles, vortices, systems with multiple time-scales, intrinsic excitability, volume diffusion and the geometry of chaos.

Inverse problems

With useful application in many fields from mining to health, inverse problems provide information about parameters that we cannot directly observe.

Examples of our research include optical diffusion tomography, process tomography and the modelling of error and uncertainty using a Bayesian perspective.

Mathematical biology

Mathematical biology applies mathematical principles to biological questions. For example, using multiscale modelling of the human lung and the salivary secretion system, we can apply mathematics to the field of health.

The lung model incorporates microscopic cellular events across the entire organ, while the model of the salivary secretion system highlights the role of molecular and cellular elements in the secretion process.

Our researchers

Dr Anna Barry

  • Mathematics of climate
  • Nonsmooth dynamical systems
  • Vortex dynamics

Dr Graham Donovan

  • Mathematical biology and physiology
  • Rare event and Monte Carlo simulation

Dr Marie Graff

  • Inverse problems
  • Numerical analysis and partial differential equations

Professor Jari Kaipio

  • Statistical inverse problems and tomography
  • Applications of mathematics to industrial problems

Associate Professor Vivien Kirk

  • Dynamical systems and nonlinear ordinary differential equations
  • Local and global bifurcations
  • Models of intracellular calcium dynamics

Professor Bernd Krauskopf

  • Dynamical systems theory and its applications to real-world problems

Professor Hinke Osinga

  • Dynamical systems theory
  • Development of numerical methods for invariant manifolds and their bifurcations

Associate Professor Claire Postlethwaite

  • Delay equations and feedback control
  • The theory of global bifurcations
  • Mathematical models of animal behaviour

Dr Philip Sharp

  • N-body methods for simulations of the Solar System
  • Numerical software

Professor James Sneyd

  • Mathematical medicine and physiology
  • Dynamical systems and the theory of calcium waves and oscillations

Dr Steve Taylor

  • Control theory of partial differential equations
  • Computational quantum chemistry

Dr Shixiao Wang

  • Nonlinear functional analysis and partial differential equations
  • Fluid dynamics and hydrodynamic stability

Notable visitors

The Department of Mathematics hosts many international visitors some of our notable visitors in the field of applied mathematics include:

Professor Peter Ashwin (University of Exeter)
Professor John Guckenheimer (Cornell University)
Professor Edgar Knobloch (University of California, Berkeley)
Professor Aku Seppanen (University of Eastern Finland)