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School of Mathematical Sciences


Queen Mary University of London has a long, proud and distinctive history built on four historic institutions, stretching back to 1785 and beyond. To learn more about how we came to be the institution we are today, please visit the History section of our main website.

The School of Mathematical Sciences as it is known today was formed in 1984, but our history can be traced back to the 1800s. Below we have put together a timeline of key moments and events in our history. 

History of Mathematical Sciences at Queen Mary


Mathematics is first taught at the People’s Palace Technical Schools and Westfield College, two of Queen Mary's founding institutions.


Miss Lilian Janey Whitby is appointed as Lecturer in Mathematics at Westfield College.


First postgraduate student in Mathematics is admitted.


Mathematics department begins a period of significant growth.


Separate Applied Mathematics and Pure Mathematics branches are created.


Mathematicians move into the purpose-built Mathematics building we still occupy today.


The first computer arrives on campus and needs to be brought in through the roof of the Mathematics building.


Professor Ian Macdonald – who introduced the celebrated Macdonald Identities - is elected to the Royal Society.


The School of Mathematical Sciences - as it is known today - is officially formed.


Statistician, Sir Adrian Smith, is appointed as Principal of Queen Mary.


John Papaloizou, Professor of Mathematics and Astronomy, is elected to the Royal Society.


YouTuber and Stand-up Mathematician, Matt Parker, joins Queen Mary and spends the next ten years working in outreach for the School of Mathematical Sciences.


The Mathematics building is refurbished, adding the ground floor foyer and the external Penrose tiling.


School of Mathematical Sciences obtains the Athena Swan Bronze Award for the first time, confirming its ongoing commitment to gender equality.


Actuarial Science programme is launched and is recognised by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.


Queen Mary University of London joins the Alan Turing Institute.


The Mathematics building undergoes an £18 million refurbishment, delivering state of the art facilities and improved community spaces.


Thank you to everyone that helped build this historical timeline of Mathematics at Queen Mary. We have done our best to include key moments and events, but understand we may have missed some. This is very much a living timeline and if you would like to suggest a contribution, please get in touch

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