“Successful Mathematician” – SMSAS Alumna Featured in London Mathematical Society Newsletter

Dr Helen Webster, Senior Scientist in Atmospheric Dispersion and Air Quality at the Met Office, has been featured as a ‘Successful Mathematician’ in the London Mathematical Society’s recent newsletter.

Dr Webster has had an excellent career since completing her PhD in Applied Mathematics at Kent under the supervision of Professor Peter Clarkson.

As a Senior Scientist for the Met Office, Dr Webster conducts research into potentially hazardous substances in the atmosphere. Following the eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in 2010, Dr Webster was amongst those tracking the ash cloud, providing the recommendation to cancel flights whilst the cloud passed across Europe.

Alongside her day job, Dr Webster is a STEM Ambassador inspiring young people to continue studying STEM subjects and enter STEM industries.

View the LMS Article below.

Sweet End to the Term for SMSAS Students

Students from the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science (SMSAS) at the University of Kent enjoyed a sweet end to the term after taking part in the SMSAS Festive Challenge.

The Festive Challenge saw SMSAS students hunt around the School’s new multi-million pound Sibson Building every day during the last week of term to find and complete the daily mathematical puzzles and brainteasers for their chance to win prizes.

The first two correctly completed challenge sheets handed in each day received a large tub of Cadburys Heroes. Students who handed in their challenge sheets two days running, received a SMSAS goody bag including a SMSAS hoodie, portable phone charger, thermos, notepad and sticky notes. Those who entered three or more days were entered into a Prize Draw.

At the end of the week, five winners were drawn from the Prize Draw win a large selection box and Amazon gift card.


Professor Elizabeth Mansfield to give Christmas Lecture at the London Taught Course Centre

Professor Elizabeth Mansfield from the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science will deliver the London Taught Course Centre’s (LTCC) Christmas Lecture on ‘Induction to Moving Frames and its Applications’ at University College London on Monday 11 December.

The talk will be followed by a launch event for the LTCC’s book on Advanced Mathematics.

I will give a gentle introduction to moving frames as they are now understood. Although the term is associated with Elie Cartan, the ideas underlying moving frames have a long history in differential geometry. The modern definition encompasses those ideas but can be used in new applications such as numerical schemes for solving differential equations and image processing.

After showing the basic ideas and the key results, I will show some applications in the smooth and discrete calculus of variations,
featuring joint work with Tania Goncalves, Ana Rojo-Echeurua, and Michele Zadra.


The Lecture will start at 6pm in room 505 at the Department of Mathematics, UCL.

To RSVP please email g.prentice@ucl.ac.uk by midday Wednesday 6 December.

SMSAS PhD student stars in new campaign to encourage female participation in sport

Mathematics PhD Researcher from the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science, Ana Rojo Echeburua, stars in a new campaign by Kent Union to encourage more women to participate in sport.

The campaign includes a variety of talented sportswomen currently studying at the University, as well as Kent Alumna and British Hockey Olympic Gold Medalist, Susannah Townsend MBE.

Ana currently trains as a powerlifter and is a member of the UKC Powerlifting team, part of the Muscle and Athletic Sports Society (MASS) for which she is Powerlifting Captain.

For more information about the campaign and to read more about Ana’s experience as a powerlifter visit https://kentunion.co.uk/news/article/TKGC




SMSAS Students Graduate at Canterbury Cathedral

Students from the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science (SMSAS), graduated on Friday 14 July in Canterbury Cathedral.

The Cathedral provided the perfect backdrop for friends, relatives and members of staff to proudly watch the graduating students collect their degree certificates. Following the ceremony, graduates had the opportunity to take photographs with lecturing staff from the School, before heading to the Sibson Building for the annual SMSAS Prize Presentation and Party.

This year’s Prize Presentation and Party was the largest one to date, with more than 200 graduates, friends and family members joining the School’s academic and professional services staff in celebrating their achievements. Graduates and guests enjoyed a plethora of sweet treats, pimps, teas and coffees in the School’s new state-of-the-art building.

Head of School, Professor Peter Hydon, gave a congratulatory speech before handing out this year’s School Prizes. The 2017 prize winners included:


  • Joshua Yetman – Tony Large Prize
  • Kelvin Lau – Bizley Memorial Undergraduate Prize
  • Mark Rumbles – Colonial Mutual Prize
  • Christopher Johnson – IMA Prize
  • Oliver Marley – IMA Prize
  • Jacob Fysh – The RSS Prize
  • Shane Butt – SMSAS School Prize
  • Joey Chong – McVittie Prize
  • John Lubi – McVittie Prize
  • Katharine Edwards – SMSAS Postgraduate Diploma Prize
  • Timur Lavro – Dean’s Prize
  • Muhammad Azman – Rotary Prize
  • Zihao Chen – Rotary Prize


Photos from the day can be found on the School’s Facebook Page.

Actuarial Science Students Shine at Annual Employability Awards

Two students from the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science collected awards at University of Kent’s annual Employability Points Rewards ceremony on Tuesday 6 June.

Final year Actuarial Science with a Year in Industry, Joey Chong, was awarded the prize for the ‘Highest Scoring Student from the Canterbury Campus’ for the second consecutive year after accumulating over 2,800 Employability Points. Joey commented, “I am honoured and happy to have won the award for the second consecutive year. The EP Scheme has played a significant role throughout my undergraduate studies, providing me with opportunities to further enhance my skills and gain valuable work experiences. It truly is a great scheme as it recognises and rewards the work students do.”

Fellow final year Actuarial Science with a Year in Industry student, Hannah Marshall, was named ‘Highest Scoring Student Studying a Finance Related Degree’ for a second time after the winning the award in 2015. Speaking after the event Hannah said, “I am absolutely thrilled to have received this Employability Points award for the second year. Logging extra curricular activities through the scheme whilst studying for my Actuarial Science degree has helped me recognise how important it is to employers to be well rounded. I have loved getting involved in voluntary and charity week at university, and getting recognition for this was an added bonus!”

Now in its seventh year, the Employability Points (EP) Scheme rewards students for their involvement in extra-curricular activities whilst studying at Kent. Students can claim ‘Employability Points’ for each activity completed and can redeem their points for the chance to apply for rewards such as, paid internships, work experience, training, project placements, vouchers and more.

Senior Lecturer in Actuarial Science and Employability Officer for the School, Mark Heller, commented, “Congratulations to Joey and Hannah, who received awards at the university’s recent Employability Points Rewards ceremony.

The Employability Points scheme provides vital work experience and skills for Kent students, and is recognised by employers across the country. The School is committed to providing high quality employability support to students, and we’re delighted that our students have been recognised with these prestigious awards.”



Prof. Peter Clarkson celebrates 60th birthday at workshop on ‘Applied and computational complex analysis’

On 9th May 2017, Professor Peter Clarkson celebrated his 60th birthday whilst attending a workshop on “Applied and computational complex analysis” at the International Centre for Mathematical Sciences (ICMS) in Edinburgh.

The ICMS staff and workshop organisers arranged for a special birthday cake which was decorated to illustrate the 60 roots of two polynomials. These polynomials are known as “Generalised Okamoto polynomials”, first derived by Noumi and Yamada in 1999, and the remarkable, symmetric structure of their roots was described in a paper by Peter in 2003.

During the workshop Peter gave a public lecture on “Rogue waves, tsunamis and solitons”. Dr Alfredo Deano, Dr Ana Loureiro and Professor Elizabeth Mansfield gave lectures at the workshop.


SMSAS rises to the challenge with bake sale in support of the Kent Refuge Fund

The School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science (SMSAS) recently took part in the Development Office’s baking challenge, ‘Rise’, to raise money for the Kent Refuge Fund.

Professional Services and Academic staff pulled together to produce an array of delicious baked goods including brownies, sponges, cupcakes, rocky roads, cookies and chocolate tiffin. The tasty treats went on sale in the Sibson Atrium on Friday 26 May.

The SMSAS Bake Sale raised over £110 for the fund which supports students and academics who seek refuge in Europe and wish to continue their education and research at Kent.

Guy Thomas publishes new book | Loss Coverage: Why Insurance Works Better with Some Adverse Selection

Honorary Lecturer, Guy Thomas, has published his latest book Loss Coverage: Why Insurance Works Better with Some Adverse Selection with Cambridge University Press. This is based in part on Guy’s collaboration in recent years with Dr Pradip Tapadar and PhD student MingJie Hao.


The book has received cover endorsements from leading actuaries including Professor David Wilkie, who writes:

“This is a serious book which challenges some of the conventional thinking of actuaries and economists about adverse selection in insurance, and does so with justification; they would do well to take the author’s views into account.”


Guy will be giving a talk based on his book at the Actuarial Teaching and Research Conference at Kent on 17-18 July.