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School of Mathematical Sciences

Professor Shahn Majid


Professor of Mathematics

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 5450
Room Number: Mathematical Sciences Building, Room: MB-G25
Office Hours: Learning Support Hour: (not week 7) This is now in the Learning Cafe, Wednesdays 2-3pm in MB-B11 Advisees: see scheduled Advisorials or email me for an appointment in person or on Zoom


Shahn Majid works particularly on algebraic methods for quantum gravity and other areas where quantum theory and geometry collide, including Hopf algebras (quantum groups) and noncommutative geometry. He pioneered the modern approach to the quantum spacetime hypothesis, the idea that the coordinates x,y,z,t that determine where and when an event takes place are in fact elements of a quantum algebra and hence subject to quantum uncertainty, due to quantum gravity effects. This allows one to understand the nature of physics at the mysterious Planck scale as a practical alternative to so-called Theories of Everything such as string theory. His approach entails the generalisation of the basic concepts of differential calculus and geometry to a suitable quantum Riemannian geometry as well as quantum groups as generalisation of the concept of symmetry that he earlier helped pioneer in the 1980s. His work includes both quantum black holes and baby quantum gravity models where the  Universe is modelled by  a small graph. He is also responsible for a theory of braided algebra in the early 1990s where algebraic expressions are wired up like in a computer. Such string diagrams have proven popular in computer science and he is also currently interested in applying all of these ideas to quantum information and quantum computing.

Shahn Majid is the author of 4 books. His 600 page text Foundations of Quantum Group Theory remains a bible for researchers in the field. His Quantum Groups Primer covers a lecture course from when he was in Cambridge. On Space and Time is a book of collected essays including his own and those of luminaries such as Roger Penrose and the Alain Connes. His new 2020 book, with Beggs, is an 800 page monograph Quantum Riemannian Geometry laying out the new formalism. For more details on all of the above, see his personal website

Shahn Majid was educated with 1st degree from Cambridge, including part III of the maths tripos, and with a PhD from Harvard. After a year in Swansea, he spent ten years in Cambridge and as a Fellow of Pembroke College there, moving to Queen Mary in 1999. He was Director of Pure Mathematics 2010-13 and has been an EPSRC Postdoctoral Fellow, an EPSRC Advanced Fellow, a Royal Society University Research Fellow and a Leverhulme Senior Research Fellow.  As well as regular research and teaching, Shahn Majid is joint director of the London Taught Course Centre, which provides graduate-level courses for a consortium of universities in London and beyond. See




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