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Pure Mathematics


Unit of Assessment
Research Assessment Exercise 2008



By percentage of research activity in the submission judged to reach quality standard

UOA 20 Pure Mathematics

FTE Cat A Staff submitted for assessment






London School of Economics and Political Science







In 2001, LSE did not submit its then very small number of mathematicians as a separate unit to the Research Assessment Exercise. Since then, however, the department has almost doubled in size, expanding into the area of financial mathematics and increasing its breadth as a research unit. The growth phase is still underway, although the department already offers its own MSc and doctoral programmes. This growth trajectory reflects the increasing impact that mathematical theory and mathematical techniques are having on subjects such as economics and finance, and on many other areas of the social sciences.

With 45 per cent of the department's work classed as either 'world leading' in terms of originality, significance and rigour or as internationally excellent, mathematics at LSE is, on this measure, a good research department in the UK.

Professor Bernhard von Stengel, head of the Department of Mathematics, said: "The expansion of the Department of Mathematics has undoubtedly enriched the department, increasing its research capacity and breadth, yet maintaining its distinctiveness as a maths department in an institution focused on the social sciences. We are satisfied that so much of our research has been rated in the top two categories but of course we can do better still."

Professor von Stengel, who serves on the editorial boards of the leading journals in game theory, and is the communications officer of the Game Theory Society, added: "The department has broadened and strengthened its pre-existing research focus on the specialist disciplines of discrete mathematics, theory of algorithms and mathematical game theory, and added a new research group in financial mathematics, an area of particular relevance to LSE."

The department is regarded as having the leading research group in mathematical game theory in the UK, and one of the major research groups in discrete mathematics. New appointments have enabled LSE Mathematics to enhance its strengths in these fields. Other appointments, including those of Professor Mihail Zervos and Dr Pavel V. Gapeev, were significant in the development of the department's new research group in financial mathematics. 

The department's weekly seminars attract large audiences from inside and outside LSE, and visiting scholars with established names regularly visit on a longer-term basis. This challenging intellectual environment helps the department support the development of its very productive younger researchers. 

The department's plans are to enhance its current research groups and strengthen existing links with other LSE departments, particularly the Departments of Statistics, Finance, Economics, and Management. Its ambition is to be the foremost centre in the UK for mathematics in the social sciences.

See Definitions of Quality| 4*, 3*, 2*, 1* and u/c

See RAE 2008 Analysis of Results| in the RPDD website for more detailed information.