Professor Keevash’s project, titled ‘Combinatorial Applications of Random Processes and Expansion’, will tackle a variety of challenging open problems in Pure Mathematics, many of which concern networks and are inspired by real life phenomena. This includes understanding mathematical models of phase transitions (e.g. the transition of ice into water and then steam) and of the flow of fluid, or the spread of information or disease throughout a network. There are many apparent properties of these models that seem to be true on an intuitive level, and often come with explanations based on Physics, but have yet to be justified mathematically. Professor Keevash intends to achieve this by developing some exciting new methods in the theories of Random Processes and Expansion arising from his recent research.

Professor Keevash explains: ‘Networks come in many forms (e.g. social networks, transportation networks, electrical networks, food webs, etc.) and share the common abstract feature of having certain members (e.g. people, cities) and connections between members (e.g. friendship, roads). Mathematicians and scientists study networks from the “applied” perspective of understanding real world networks, and the “pure” perspective of understanding the mathematical theory that applies to any possible network, existing or in our imaginations. These two perspectives are symbiotic: the abstract theory is often inspired by real world phenomena, and conversely, the real-world data and models require mathematical theory to analyse.’

This funding is part of the EU research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020. The new grantees will carry out their projects at universities and research centres across 20 EU Member States and associated countries with Germany (35), UK (34) and France (21) hosting most grants.

For more information on the Grant and for the full list of this year’s winners, please click here.