Regius chair at St Andrews

The University of St Andrews is advertising to fill the Regius Chair in Mathematics. As the name suggests, the appointment must technically be approved by the Crown; a rare distinction! (According to Wikipedia, there are a number of Regius chairs in ancient universities, and some in modern ones created by the present Queen; but Mathematics is the only Regius chair in St Andrews, and the first holder of the chair was James Gregory, about whom I shall hopefully say more later.)

All areas of mathematics are considered. It would obviously be good if the Regius professor could talk to existing members of the School of Mathematics and Statistics. (The advertisement speaks of “synergies”.) It is more important that the professor can start strong new directions of research in the School.

What are the advantages? Speaking from my own experience, I would say: a very congenial department with relatively low barriers between divisions, in an ancient university in a very attractive town; management unusually enlightened among British universities about what the purpose of a university is; strong and motivated students. For a golfer, there is no need for me to discuss the attractions; but if you think a walk is better without being interrupted by people swatting little white balls, it is on the Fife coastal path and close to the Highlands. Not much more than an hour’s travel brings you to Edinburgh.


About Peter Cameron

I count all the things that need to be counted.
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