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.
With a passion for both algebra and geometry, Shahn Majid’s research has spanned everything from particle physics to results in abstract category theory. He is most well-known for his pioneering work on Hopf algebras aka `quantum groups’ which are a new `quantum’ notion of symmetry that fully emerged in the 1980s. One of his books is a standard text in the field. In the 1990s he introduced a kind of `braided algebra’ where group theory is done at the level of braids and knots. He also pioneered the idea of `quantum spacetime’ whereby 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. In recent years he has been re-inventing differential calculus and Riemannian geometry so as to work in such a quantum domain. (`quantum’ or noncommutative Riemannian geometry). This is pure mathematics with many potential applications, including potentially quantum gravity.
Shahn Majid is joint director of the London Taught Course Centre. He is also responsible for the SEFP Foundation year maths programme. This year he teaches Essential Foundation Maths Skills and third year Relativity, both in Semester A.