School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences  (MACS)

School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences

Timeline

1821 Foundation of the School of Arts of Edinburgh, the first Mechanics Institute in Britain, later to become Heriot-Watt University. Mathematics is on the curriculum.

1852 Name change to Watt Institution and School of Arts.

1962 The first Computer is installed under the joint control of the Departments of Mathematics and of Electrical Engineering.

1966 Heriot-Watt becomes a University by Royal Charter.

1966 Heriot-Watt offers a BSc degree in Computer Science, the first in Scotland and one of the first in the UK.

1972 The Department of Actuarial Mathematics and Statistics is founded, the first in the UK. Heriot-Watt offers a BSc degree in Actuarial Mathematics and Statistics, the first in the UK.

1973 Move from a site in central Edinburgh to a purpose-built campus on the outskirts of Edinburgh.

1980 The Department of Computer Science takes part in the UK “5th Generation” Alvey programme, leading to substantial growth in research. The Department also co-hosts the Scottish Human-Computer Interaction Centre with Strathclyde University.

1992 Prof John McCutcheon elected President of the Faculty of Actuaries.

1992 Prof David Wilkie awarded the Gold Medal by the faculty of Actuaries. Later he is awarded the Gold Medal by the Institute of Actuaries (1995), an Honorary Doctorate of Science by City University, London (1994), an Honorary Doctorate of Mathematics by Waterloo University, Canada (2002), and is appointed CBE (1998).

1992 Founding of the International Centre for Mathematical Sciences, joint with the University of Edinburgh. It organizes international workshops and conferences, and is located in 14 India Street, the birthplace of James Clerk Maxwell.

1994 Prof John McCutcheon appointed a CBE for services to the Actuarial Profession.

1996 Research Assessment Exercise results for Mathematics: "International standing in some sub-areas and national standing in virtually all others".

1999 Genetics and Insurance Research Centre set up under the directorship of Prof Angus Macdonald.

2001 Research Assessment Exercise results for Mathematics and Actuarial Mathematics and Statistics: "Quality that equates to attainable levels of international excellence in up to half of the research activity submitted and to attainable levels of national excellence in virtually all of the remainder".

2002 Formation of the School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences (MACS), consisting of the Departments of Mathematics, Actuarial Mathematics and Statistics, and Computer Science.

2005 The Departments of Mathematics and Actuarial Mathematics and Statistics move into the purpose-built Colin Maclaurin building.

2005 Prof Angus Macdonald, Prof Howard Waters and Dr Chessman Wekwete are awarded the David Garrick Halmstad Prize for the best contribution to actuarial literature published in 2003.

2006 Sir John Ball, a former professor of Mathematics in the School and now professor of Mathematics at Oxford University, is knighted.

2006 Prof Jonathan Sherratt is awarded the Adams Prize by the University of Cambridge for major contributions to several areas of mathematical biology.

2006 Prof Jonathan Sherratt is awarded the Whitehead Prize by the London Mathematical Society for his contribution to mathematical biology and, in particular, the development and analysis of new mathematical models for complex biological processes.

2006 The Departments of Mathematics and Actuarial Mathematics and Statistics form the Maxwell Institute, joint with the School of Mathematics of the University of Edinburgh. Funded with a £10M grant from the Scottish Funding Council.

2006 Prof Howard Waters is awarded the Finlaison Medal of the Institute for Actuaries for "important, profound work in risk theory, life insurance solvency, and in multiple state modelling for long-term sickness benefits and, more recently, for critical illness insurance".

2007 Award of a £3.4M Science and Innovation Grant to the Maxwell Institute for a Centre for Analysis and Nonlinear Partial Differential Equations.

2008 Prof Andrew Cairns is awarded the David Garrick Halmstad Prize for the best contribution to actuarial literature published in 2006.

2008 The School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences does well in the Research Assessment Exercise. The average score is 2.7, at the level of the research-intensive Russell Group universities.

2011 Award of a £4.7M Science and Innovation Grant to the Maxwell Institute and Strathclyde University, for a Centre for Numerical Algorithms and Intelligent Software.

Several staff members are Fellow of the Royal Society or Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Among them are Profs Ken Brown, Jack Carr, Chris Eilbeck, Sergei Foss, Gavin Gibson, Jim Howie, Robin Knops, Sergei Kuksin, Andrew Lacey, John McCutcheon, Angus Macdonald, Oliver Penrose, and Jonathan Sherratt.
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