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Largest capital donation in Warwick’s history secured for Mathematical Sciences

Mathematical Sciences building

In December 2016 the Wolfson Foundation announced that it would make a grant of £2m to fund a new Mathematical Sciences Building at Warwick - the biggest capital donation to Warwick in our history so far.

Mathematical Sciences covers the three departments of Computer Science, Mathematics and Statistics. The new building - which will be adjacent to the Zeeman Building and will begin construction in February 2017 - will support the expansion of all three departments by 40% over the next decade.

There will be dedicated space for research and teaching in Data Science and the new building will house Warwick’s Alan Turing Institute (ATI) staff when they are not at the ATI’s London base. Warwick is a founding member of the ATI - the national institute for data science.

Professor Stephen Jarvis, Head of Computer Science said:

Over the past two years the Departments of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science have been working closely together on the establishment of the Alan Turing Institute in London, the UKs national institute for Data Science. Many of the world’s challenges in healthcare, security, social cohesion, automotive and aerospace, are being solved by blending underpinning mathematical and statistical techniques to advance new computational methods. In many ways this close collaboration at Warwick is unique, and this support from the Wolfson Foundation will allow us to continue to build on this success."

Professor Colin Sparrow, Head of Mathematics, was keen to underline the unique characteristics of the bid:

One of the most exciting aspects of the building will be the Mathematical Sciences Graduate School - we will be bringing together the graduate programmes and Centres for Doctoral Training into one Mathematical Sciences Graduate School which will have more than 300 PhD students.This will be a great opportunity for those students to collaborate and learn from each other- and also just connect with other students during what can sometimes be a rather solitary time in one’s academic career.”

Professor Mark Steel, Head of Statistics said:

I am delighted that the Wolfson Foundation has decided to award its maximum level of support to our new Mathematical Sciences Building, which is an integral part of our vision for the future development of Mathematical Sciences at Warwick. We are very keen to build on our long tradition of world-class research excellence and to continue to strengthen collaborative links within Warwick and with external partners. Our new facilities will be instrumental in this and will significantly add to our capacity for impact-generating activity.”

The successful bid was the result of close collaboration between several teams. Chris Veal, Research Support Officer for Mathematics and Statistics – recently recognised in the Warwick Staff Awards for his contribution – worked across the three academic departments to create the research overview. The Development Office, which manages the relationship with The Wolfson Foundation across the University, worked with Estates, the Executive Office and Wolfson to project manage the bid.

Mary McGrath, Director of Fundraising, commented:

This is a great example of how Warwick has built a relationship with a charitable trust through many interactions. Wolfson supports excellence, so we were confident that the Math Sci bid would appeal to them in the first instance. However, we have also taken the time to build a strong relationship with the Foundation over many years - Stuart Croft in particular has played a key role in our discussions with Wolfson. The success demonstrates the power of a big team effort working collaboratively and with great respect for each other’s opinions. I think the teams have enjoyed working in this way and look forward more collaborations in the future."

The Wolfson Foundation currently funds The Wolfson Scholars in the Faculty of Arts, and has supported a number of capital projects across campus since the University was founded in 1965.

A number of other bids are currently in progress to fund the new Mathematical Sciences Building, which will cost £27m and will be completed in October 2018.

Wed 11 January 2017, 17:20