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Christopher Zeeman Medal

The Christopher Zeeman Medal has been created to recognise and acknowledge the contributions of mathematicians involved in promoting mathematics to the public and engaging with the public in mathematics in the UK, and demonstrate that such activities are valued by the societies and the mathematical community at large and are a part of a mathematician’s roles and responsibilities.

At the request of the Councils of the IMA and the LMS, the medal has been named in honour of Professor Sir Christopher Zeeman FRS, who presented the first award. In 1978, Sir Christopher became the first mathematician to deliver the Royal Institution’s Christmas Lectures, and his ‘Mathematics into Pictures’ series is now cited as an important influence to many young mathematicians. The Christopher Zeeman Medal is awarded jointly by the two societies every two years. Nominees should be mathematicians who have been actively involved in mathematics (including research, teaching and applications in any sector of employment).

IMA-LMS Christopher Zeeman Medal Award 2016: Lecture on 22 March 2017

We are delighted to announce that the Councils of the IMA and LMS have awarded the Christopher Zeeman Medal in 2016 to Rob Eastaway.

The award lecture, Maths, Teamwork and Googlies, will take place on 22 March 2017 at 18:00, followed by a reception at The Royal Society, Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AG.  Registration will open at 17:30.

Abstract: Maths is usually regarded as a solo activity, yet some of the richest mathematical experience can come from collaboration: think of Hardy and Ramanujan … Lovelace and Babbage … Duckworth and Lewis. Rob Eastaway takes a light-hearted look back at some of his own mathematical partnerships that have explored games, puzzles, mathematical modelling of everyday life ... and even (a little bit of) cricket.

Admission to the lecture and reception is by ticket only.  Tickets are free of charge and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.  For tickets, please contact Alison Penry by email: or by post at the IMA, Catherine Richards House, 16 Nelson Street, Southend-on-Sea, SS1 1EF.  Please advise whether you wish to attend the lecture only, or the lecture and reception.


The Award is given for excellence in the promotion of mathematics to the public or engagement with the public in mathematics in the UK.


(a) To recognise and acknowledge the contributions of mathematicians involved in promoting mathematics to the public and engaging with the public in mathematics in the UK.

(b) To encourage others, by recognising good practice in such activities.

(c) To demonstrate to the wider community that such activities are valued by the societies and by the mathematical community at large, and are a part of a mathematician’s roles and responsibilities.

Criteria for activities promoting mathematics to the public and engaging with the public in mathematics:

(a) The range of eligible activities should be inclusive and wide-ranging, including (but not limited to) both direct and indirect activities with the public, the use of mass media, engaging the public in debate, writing of books or media columns, or organising major events promoting engagement with mathematics.

(b) The activity must be aimed at a significant section of the lay public.

(c) The activity may address any aspect of mathematics and its applications including the role of mathematics in matters of public interest.

(d) A pivotal role in the initiation of new activity or in promoting mathematics would be eligible, provided that initiative or activity itself is primarily and directly addressing the public and that the nominee’s role is central and identifiable.

(e) Specific, one-off achievements, and longer-term involvement across a range of activities, are equally eligible.

(f) Service to the mathematical community per se is not eligible unless the activity also meets the criteria (b)–(d) above.


(a) Nominees must be mathematicians who have been actively involved in mathematics (including research, teaching or application in any sector of employment).

(b) Retired mathematicians are eligible to be considered.

(c) A mathematician is anyone who would be entitled to corporate membership of the IMA or membership of the LMS. It is not necessary for a nominee to be a member of either society.

(d) The recipient should not be a Councillor of either organisation at the time of the nomination or at the time of ratification by Councils.


(a) The medal is to be awarded every two years (in even-numbered years).

(b) The nomination should be approved by the Councils of both societies in June/July of the year of the award.

(c) The December, year X-1,editions of Mathematics Today and the LMS Newsletter shall contain:

      (i) An outline of the regulations and arrangements for the award of the Medal;

      (ii) An invitation to members of the Society and Institute to submit their views confidentially in writing to the Committee Secretary by 28th February, year X.

(d) The Committee may itself make nominations for the Medal with the proposer completing a nomination form. The Committee shall seek to ensure that a strong, diverse field is nominated for consideration.

(e) In the very unusual event that the Committee feels that there is no candidate appropriate to receive the Medal then the Committee may recommend to the Councils that no award be made for the year X.

(f) The award ceremony should be arranged to follow the declaration of the winner; preferably within 12 months of the award.


1. In the autumn, year (X-1), each Council shall appoint its President and two other members of the Institute or Society to a Medal Committee, at least one of whom shall not be a member of its Council, and shall alternately invite one of them to act as convenor.

2. The Committee may seek written opinions from other mathematicians on candidates and on their service to mathematics and to the mathematical community.

3. The Presidents and the members of the Medal Committee shall be ineligible for the award of the Medal in years of awards for which they serve.

4. At the decision-meeting all committee members will declare their ‘interests,’ regarding those under consideration. In the event that the voting of the Medal Committee results in a tie, the Presidents of the two societies shall have an additional vote. Should this again result in a tie, the Chair of the Committee shall have a final and casting vote.

5. The Committee shall present its written report to the Council Secretaries of the Institute and the Society. This report shall consist of a recommendation of one and only one name for consideration as medal-winner, accompanied by a detailed citation.

6. At the next meetings of the Councils, there shall be a discussion of the report followed by a ballot. No award shall be made unless supported by an absolute majority of the members of each Council present at the meeting, whether voting or not. The failure of one or both Councils to approve the recommendation of 5 shall be regarded as equivalent to a decision that the Medal be not awarded that year.

7. If a proposal was resubmitted in later years then the author of that proposal should be requested to update that proposal so that the burden rested with the nominator.

The responsibility for making the arrangements will alternate between the LMS (2018, 2022) and the IMA (2016, 2020).


Christopher Zeeman Medal previous winners »