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Oxford Mathematics  Oxford Mathematics is the home of the Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford

Oxford Mathematicians Hilary and John Ockendon predicted the speed needed to hold the object in place (and the production of the tongue). But they needed proof. Tom Mullin had been working on the problem and decided to give it a go. That is how maths, like any science, works. Repeated experimenting has shown that an oil flow speed of about 5mm per second does the trick. How will it be applied to the real world? We may have to wait a while but experience suggests it will, one day.

The small block is held in place by a flow of silicon oil (12,000 times more viscous than water). But it isn't the oil holding it there. If the oil flow were stopped the object would fall. And if the speed of flow were changed, then the object would fall. Also note the tongue of viscous fluid. What is that about? Check out the next post.

So mathematicians don't have labs? Well, actually they do. Because maths is not just about computers (and brains) but is about testing theories and models. What is going on here? Well, you see that little blue object attached to the top of the structure? Well, it shouldn't be there. We'll explain more in the next picture.

Mathematical Research Part 3. Our third example is a little different. Some maths is applied to real-life situations. But some is done for the sheer pleasure of increasing knowledge and pushing boundaries, working on problems just because they are problems. This image from Ric Wade's work captures that world, a place that may seem initially alien if you are non-mathematical but which in fact conveys a precision and elegance that we can perhaps respect. And of course so-called pure maths has a habit of proving very applicable to our lives. Ever wondered how you can buy stuff securely on the internet? www.maths.ox.ac.uk/research/case-studies

Mathematical Research Part 2. If its current, mathematicians are all over it. Social media is one fertile area where we desperately need to understand connections and behaviours. The field of 'networks' is vital here and Florian Klimm has used it in another context, providing a network graph to illustrate how MPs voted in the recent Brexit indicative votes. www.maths.ox.ac.uk/research/case-studies

Mathematical Research Part 1. Perhaps one of the barriers to appreciating mathematics's role in our lives is lack of knowledge about the fields where maths is a crucial part of scientific research. Above all mathematicians are collecting data and then applying their maths to create models to predict outcomes. In our feature this week we use images to highlight three examples. First up is Radu Cimpeanu's work on tackling the serious problem of ice forming on aircraft at high altitudes. This custom-made watercolour painting by graphic designer Anca Pora shows a plane flying through a high liquid sky. www.maths.ox.ac.uk/research/case-studies

What colour do you think of when you think maths? We think yellow. A least when it comes to our musette bags. We also do them in charcoal for the more subdued days. All Oxford Mathematics merchandise can be bought in our building or via the @universityofoxfordshop.

You wouldn't find me wearing that. Or maybe you would. Burgundy sweatshirt, musette bag. And Maddie is not one to throw anything on. Note the artwork by Antoni Malinowski in the background, painted directly on to the wall by Antoni over three months.

You wouldn't think maths lends itself to a range of designer gear. But thanks to our designers at @williamjosephdesign we can fit you out in t-shirts, hoodies and sweatshirts, and give you bags, pens, notebooks, postcards and mugs to go with them. The mugshot features the names of the first women to study mathematics in Oxford at the end of the 19th century.

What does doing Maths look like? Part 3
Sometimes it just looks like any other workplace or work room. No super computers (or gowns), just the odd poster on the wall and the guys hanging out.

If you would like a taster of postgraduate life in Oxford Mathematics and Science, check out our UNIQ+ six-week summer courses for current students in the UK. Details on the news pages of our website.

What does doing Maths look like? Part 2
It can be very collaborative. How better to share ideas than writing them down on the Oxford Mathematics Common Room tables? You can also write on the windows.

What does doing Maths look like? Part 1
It can appear solitary. But perhaps instead it is absorbing. And rather familiar? A scene from the Oxford Mathematics Common Room looking out on to Green Templeton College.

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