Industry provides a wealth of stimulating and challenging quantitative scientific problems. Many of these can be tackled using applied mathematics and numerical computation; this leads not just to satisfying applications of the mathematical ideas but often also provokes new questions and lines of research.
Examples of recent research collaborations include work on problems as diverse as freezing fish, safety problems in nuclear reactors, corrosion of metals, digital communications, 'squealing' in railway bogies, coal burning, and food digestion.
Staff in Mathematical Sciences regularly take part in European Study Group with Industry meetings (and Bath has hosted a Study Group in the past) and work with industry in a variety of ways: for example the department has an excellent record in facilitating Industrial CASE PhD studentships in which research students spend periods of time seconded to an industrial partner who is an enthusiastic supporter of the research programme undertaken for the PhD.
Within the University, we maintain close links with the Departments of Mechanical, and Electrical & Electronic Engineering. These links include joint projects and jointly supervised research students.
Mathematical biology is concerned with the quantitative modelling of biological processes, at scales from individual cells up to entire ecosystems comprising populations of many different species.
Biological systems are formidably complex. They operate on multiple scales, from the molecule up to the ecosystem, and they are inhomogeneous at each level. For example, many strains of a typical contagious disease arise through mutation and circulate simultaneously, infecting a population composed of individuals of different ages and immune histories moving in space and interacting through chance encounters and a changing social network.
It has long been recognised that the analysis and computational solution of simple homogeneous deterministic mathematical models at a single level often helps develop insight into a biological system. However, in modern mathematical biology it is considered increasingly important to take account of the complexity of the system, exploiting its structure to allow progress in understanding its behaviour. Mathematical biologists must therefore be excellent mathematical modellers; they must have a deep understanding of the biological system, gained from the literature and through close collaboration with biologists; they must also keep abreast of developments in diverse areas of mathematics that may allow them to analyse ever more complex models as effectively as possible.
Mathematical biology at Bath is a truly interdisciplinary subject. The mathematical biologists in the department are actively engaged in research with colleagues from various other disciplines in the university, and beyond. Within the university a close relationship between the disciplines is maintained by the Centre for Mathematical Biology (CMB), a group of mathematicians, biologists and other scientists with interests in the mathematical modelling and analysis of biological systems, who maintain close collaboration and hold frequent meetings.