Colin Maclaurin - Mathematics

Maths is all around us and featured in a lot of things we do every day - but is in many things that we wouldn't necessarily think of as maths!  

Maths researchers at Heriot-Watt University look at lots of different kinds of maths, from shapes (geometry) and how to do maths without numbers (algebra), to how likely things are to happen (probability). Some look at how we can use maths in biology and ecology, and some study how much risk and uncertainty there is in lots of different contexts - which is known as actuarial maths and statistics. Here we look at how we can use maths in areas of finance (for example protecting the money of people and companies) and statistics, for example in studying the impact of Coronavirus on people's health.  

Finally, we have our computer science department which provides a home for the amazing National Robotarium looking at areas like developing robots to help us at home or at work, and also other areas of research involving computers, like how to prevent our computer systems from being hacked. 

Research Bite

Find out more in this Research Bite with Associate Professor Gavin Reid, a researcher in the School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences. Gavin is an actuary, a profession which specialises in using maths to solve problems in order to measure and manage risk in finance (for example insurance, pensions) and wider areas such as climate change.  

How is mathematics used in our everyday?

Find out how shapes formed Edinburgh Castle, it's buildings and other aspects of the great historical site. Credit: Maths Week Scotland.