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We occupy a distinct position in the mathematical sciences community in terms of the variety of ways we apply core mathematics research to other sciences.

Having a variety of active research fields enables us to support students in areas that interest them, and provide teaching from academics at the forefront of current research.


Our research areas

Pure mathematics

In this area our researchers investigate problems in number theory and pure and applied analysis.


At Reading, statisticians are working on projects in applied statistics, mechanics, probability theory and stochastic analysis.

Applied and numerical mathematics

Researchers in this area bring core mathematical principles to a range of applications including geophysical fluid dynamics, biology and data assimilation.

Mathematics of Planet Earth

This research centre is a catalyst for research ideas and initiatives in the intersection between mathematics and statistics, theoretical physics, data science and Earth system science.

Research impact

We are an outstanding, impactful department of mathematics and statistics. 98% of our research is world leading or internationally excellent and 100% of our research impact has been classed ‘outstanding’ or ‘very considerable’ (Research Excellence Framework 2021, combining 4* and 3* submissions – Mathematical Sciences).

Recent research impact highlights

Analysis data for weather forecasting models

Effective and timely use of observational data is vital for forecasting any environmental system, and particularly so for weather forecasting because of the chaotic nature of the atmosphere.

Professor Sarah L Dance and Professor Nancy Nichols have undertaken research that has led to better treatment of particular types of observational data in numerical weather prediction, resulting in significant improvements in operational analysis and forecast skill.

Read more about Professor Dance and Professor Nichols's observational data research (PDF, 0.1MB)

Cost-effective clinical trials

Professor Sue Todd has conducted research into the design and analysis of clinical trials that has the potential to cut development and regulatory costs, reduce time-to-market for new treatments, and improve patient outcomes.

Read more about Professor Todd's clinical trials research (PDF, 0.1MB)

Improving ocean and climate forecasting

Atmospheric and oceanic forecasting systems require a vast quantity of input data collected from satellites, ocean buoys, aircraft and shipping, radiosondes, radar and ground stations. These data are incorporated into complex multi-scale models using data assimilation techniques.

Professor Nancy Nichols has developed improvements to enable better use of this expensively-acquired data to produce more accurate weather and climate predictions.

Read more about Professor Nichols's forecasting research (PDF, 0.2MB)

Research collaborations

Our research is strongly collaborative, with staff active in a number of the University’s institutes and centres, including:


We are part of the larger School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences, where we partner on research with other departments including our world-leading Department of Meteorology.

We have had significant recent success in securing funding both for early career researchers and established staff, and are a partner in the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Mathematics of Planet Earth with Imperial College London. Although no longer open to new applicants, this joint initiative provides PhD training in the mathematical and computational techniques needed to understand, predict and quantify risk and uncertainty for extreme weather and climate change.


External collaborations

Recent collaborative grants and consultancy agreements include:

Low carbon network solutions

Together with Scottish and Southern Energy, Honeywell, General Electrics, Bracknell Forest Council, EA Energy and DNV-GL, the University of Reading is a full partner in the Thames Valley Vision project demonstrating next generation low carbon network technology and solutions.

Our work includes the identification and analysis of energy usage patterns from smart meter data; forecasting and inference of short- and long-term demand on local networks that can be used by distribution network operators for planning and energy storage management; and modelling of future uptake of low carbon technologies.

Smart analytics

Counting Lab Ltd is a University of Reading spinout company providing smart analytics by developing data driven models and applications for customer/public-facing sectors. Starting in December 2010, and exploiting know-how and prototypes developed in mathematics and statistics, Counting Lab is providing solutions through translational projects to many clients including Walmart, Net-a-porter, and the Centre for Defence Enterprise.

Large network analysis

We have undertaken collaborative research with Unilever Research and Development on mathematical models of spread of mood through social networks and consultancy on modelling and analysis of large networks. A research project with Counting Lab for Centre for Defence Enterprise considers the dynamics of collective sentiment using large data-sets of Twitter mentions.


PhD study

Embark on your mathematics PhD in a diverse, supportive environment where you'll receive expert doctoral supervision. 



Our outreach activities aim to promote, enhance and enrich mathematics and statistics in schools.


Seminars and events

We regularly organise conferences, seminars, workshops and other departmental events.

Athena SWAN Silver Award