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University of Warwick maths professor awarded £360,000 grant

University of Warwick mathematician Professor Robert MacKay has been awarded a six-figure sum to fund research that could help with global challenges such as food supply, climate change and financial regulation.

The £360,000 grant will be used to develop mathematical foundations and applications for the control theory of complex systems. 

The long-term goal is to contribute to better management of big socio-economic challenges ahead such as food supply, climate, demographic change, financial regulation, electricity pricing systems, social unrest, reorganisation of health services, epidemic threats and the economy.

Professor MacKay of the Warwick Mathematics Institute has been awarded the grant by the New York-based Alfred P Sloan Foundation for the two year-period beginning January 2012.

The prestigious award will fund two two-year postdoctoral research assistants, one on the mathematical foundations of control of probability distributions for spatially extended stochastic systems and the other on computer tests and demonstrations of control procedures.

Professor MacKay said: “I am grateful to the Sloan Foundation for this award. 

“There is a pressing need to base policy on sound foundations that take into account factors like systemic risk and the differences between individuals’ incentives and what is good for society as a whole. 

“The project will add an important activity to our Centre for Complexity Science.”

Notes to editors

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation was set up in 1934 by Alfred Pritchard Sloan Jr., then-President and Chief Executive Officer of the General Motors Corporation,

The foundation makes grants in support of original research and education in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and economic performance.

For further information please contact University of Warwick Press Officer Anna Blackaby on 02476 575910 or