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Report of the General Board on the establishment of a Herchel Smith Professorship of Pure Mathematics

The GENERAL BOARD beg leave to report to the University as follows:

1. In the Reporter of 19 June 2002 (Reporter, 2001-02, p. 910) the previous Vice-Chancellor gave notice of a magnificent benefaction to the University under the will of Dr Herchel Smith. In this bequest, which is expected to exceed £45m in total, Dr Smith made provision of £14.315m, to be divided into five equal parts, to support the full endowment of five Professorships in the fields of Pure Mathematics, Physics, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Molecular Genetics.

2. The study of Pure Mathematics is recognized as being both one of the most ancient forms of intellectual activity and one that has also led to many significant discoveries in a very wide variety of educational and industrial fields, including, in modern times, commerce and computing. Within Cambridge, Pure Mathematics has long been an important area of study, and one of the oldest Professorships in the University, the Lowndean Professorship of Astronomy and Geometry, which was established in 1749, is established in the Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics. Pure Mathematics has developed across a multiplicity of fronts since the eighteenth century with the result that it has now become difficult for the Department to cover all aspects of the subject to a depth consonant with its reputation for the international excellence of its scholarship and teaching. A particular example of this lies in Mathematical Analysis, which is a subject central to mathematics but one which has become under-represented not only in Cambridge but across the UK as a whole.

3. The Faculty Board of Mathematics have accordingly advised the General Board that a senior academic appointment, to provide leadership in research and teaching, is required to redress this shortcoming and, in their view, the Herchel Smith benefaction offers the ideal opportunity to remedy the situation. In support of this proposal, the Faculty Board have agreed to recommend the suppression of a University Lectureship in the Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics that is expected to be released from abeyance on 1 October 2007 on the retirement of Professor A. F. Beardon from his Professorship in Complex Analysis. The General Board have accepted this proposal and accordingly recommend the establishment, from 1 October 2004, of a Herchel Smith Professorship of Pure Mathematics in the Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics.

4. The Board are assured that, with the substantial level of support that the Herchel Smith benefaction will provide, the Professorship can be expected to attract candidates of international prestige and distinction. Suitable accommodation will be available for the Professor in the new Centre for Mathematical Sciences building at Clarkson Road. The Board have agreed to concur in the view of the Faculty Board that election to the Professorship should be made by an ad hoc Board of Electors and that, on this occasion, preference should be given, but not limited to, persons whose work falls within the field of Mathematical Analysis.

5. The General Board recommend:

I. That a Herchel Smith Professorship of Pure Mathematics be established from 1 October 2004, placed in Schedule B of the Statutes, and assigned to the Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics.

II. That regulations for the Herchel Smith Professorship of Pure Mathematics, as set out in the Schedule to this Report, be approved.

11 February 2004 ALISON RICHARD, Vice-ChancellorN. O. A. BULLOCKD. W. B. MACDONALD


Herchel Smith Professor of Pure Mathematics. 2004. Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics

1. The sum received from the Trustees of the late Dr Herchel Smith for the establishment of a Professorship in some field or fields in Pure Mathematics shall form a fund called the Herchel Smith Pure Mathematics Fund.

2. The Fund shall be administered by three Managers appointed by the Faculty Board of Mathematics, who shall include the Head of the Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics, who shall be the Chairman, the Herchel Smith Professor of Pure Mathematics, and the Chairman of the Council of the School of the Physical Sciences.

3. The first charge on the income of the Fund shall be the stipend, national insurance, pension contributions, and associated indirect costs of the Professor payable by the University.

4. After provision has been made in accordance with Regulation 3, the Fund shall be applied for the support of teaching or research in Pure Mathematics in such manner as shall be approved by the General Board on the recommendation of the Managers.

5. Any unexpended income in a financial year may in any subsequent year be expended in accordance with Regulation 4.

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Cambridge University Reporter 3 March 2004
Copyright © 2003 The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge.