Professor of Applied Mathematics at Bath, Chris Budd OBE, has been appointed to the oldest mathematical Chair in Britain, the Professorship of Geometry and Other Mathematical Sciences at Gresham College.

Professor Budd is one of the founders of Bath Taps into Science, a major hands-on science festival that has won several national prizes. He was awarded an OBE for services to science and maths education last October.

Public lectures

In his role as Professor of Geometry at Gresham College, Chris Budd will continue the 419-year-old tradition of delivering free lectures aimed at the public within the City of London and beyond.

The series of six lectures starting in October 2016 will be on Mathematics and the Making of the Modern and Future World. The six lectures will investigate how mathematics is relevant to all of our lives, and the process by which mathematical ideas move from the abstract to the practical, and also how technology is transferred between very different disciplines.

The lectures, held at the Museum of London, will show the role of mathematics both in the technology that we all take for granted, and also its major applications to some of the Eight Great Technologies, recently identified by HM Government.

Full lecture descriptions are available on the Gresham College website:

Applying mathematics to the real world

Chris Budd is Professor of Applied Mathematics and Director of the Centre of Nonlinear Mechanics at the University of Bath. He is also Chair of Mathematics at the Royal Institution and Professor of the Public Understanding of Mathematics at the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications.

His broad research interests are based on interdisciplinary industrial and applied mathematics, particularly in complex nonlinear problems arising in real applications. He is actively engaged in research in collaboration with the Met Office (resulting in his algorithms being incorporated into the Met Office operational weather forecasting code), and is involved in climate modelling using mathematical and computational methods, which has led him to a number of cross-industry collaborations.

Professor Budd said: “I believe very strongly indeed that the excitement and importance of mathematics and science should be communicated to as wide an audience as possible. The appointment to the Gresham Professorship is a fantastic opportunity to do just this, whether in person in London or online through the website.

“The key message that I want to convey in the series of free lectures is that mathematics is as important as the air around us; it surrounds all that we do, it is not always noticed, but without it we couldn’t survive. Mathematics is extremely important in all of our lives and it will become increasingly so in the future. The possibility of promoting this message and exciting people in this mathematics is something which I look forward to in this appointment at Gresham College.”

400 year old tradition

The Geometry chair at Gresham College is the oldest in Britain, dating back to the College’s founding in 1597. Gresham College was the first higher education institution in England besides the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and it was created with the guiding principle of providing free education to the people of London so that England could maintain a position at the forefront of a global economy. Gresham College’s central position in science and mathematics saw the Royal Society formed within the College, and past luminaries include Henry Briggs, Sir Christopher Wren, Robert Hooke, Sir Christopher Zeeman and Sir Roger Penrose.

The College continues to fill lecture halls for its free public lectures every week. All Gresham lectures are also made available online after the event, as a part of the archive of over 2,000 lectures, where the large worldwide audience continues to benefit from Sir Thomas Gresham’s desire to disseminate knowledge to the public free of charge.