The University

The University of Oxford is a complex and stimulating organisation, which enjoys an international reputation as a world-class centre of excellence in research and teaching. It employs over 10,000 staff and has a student population of over 22,000.

Most staff are directly appointed and managed by one of the University’s 130 departments or other units within a highly devolved operational structure - this includes over 6,500 ‘academic-related’ staff (postgraduate research, computing, senior library, and administrative staff) and over 2,700 ‘support’ staff (including clerical, library, technical, and manual staff). There are also over 1,600 academic staff (professors, readers, lecturers), whose appointments are in the main overseen by a combination of broader divisional and local faculty board/departmental structures. Academics are generally all also employed by one of the 38 constituent colleges of the University as well as by the central University itself.

Our annual income in 2011/12 was £1,016.1m. Oxford is one of Europe's most innovative and entrepreneurial universities: income from external research contracts exceeds £409m p.a., and more than 80 spin-off companies have been created.

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MPLS Division

The Mathematical, Physical, and Life Sciences Division (MPLS) is one of the four academic divisions of the University.

Oxford is widely recognised as one of the world's leading science universities. In the 2008 UK Research Assessment Exercise over 70% of research activity in MPLS was judged to be world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*), and Oxford was ranked first in the UK across the mathematical sciences as a whole.

The MPLS division's ten departments and three interdisciplinary units span the full spectrum of the mathematical, computational, physical, engineering and life sciences, and undertake both fundamental research and cutting-edge applied work. We have over 6,000 students and research staff, and generate over half of our funding from external research grants. Our research addresses major societal and technological challenges and is increasingly interdisciplinary in nature. We collaborate closely with colleagues in Oxford across the medical sciences, social sciences and humanities, as well as with researchers from around the world.

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Department of Computer Science

The Department of Computer Science (DoCS) was established in 1957.  It is one of the UK’s leading Computer Science Departments (ranked first in a number of newspaper rankings, and third in terms of research power). In the RAE in 2008, 80% of the submitted research was found to be in the top two tiers, either 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent). Many members of the Department are active in externally sponsored research, with both government and industrial funding.  At present there are 52 members of academic staff and over 80 research staff.

DoCS has close links with government, industry, and other departments within the University. Among the latter are Mathematics, Engineering, Physics, Statistics and a number of life sciences departments. It has a major role in the rapidly-developing field of e-Science alongside the Oxford e-Research Centre, an independent unit with which we share a building.  This is  an essentially inter-disciplinary activity which is at present attracting major funding from a number of sources.  At present DoCS holds £37m in external research contracts.

Research in DoCS is currently managed in seven themes. 

Software Engineering (led by Professor Jim Davies), works on a wide variety of areas including e-Science and model-driven development;

Programming Languages (led by Professor Jeremy Gibbons and including Dr Ralf Hinze and Professor Oege de Moor); Security (leader Professor Bill Roscoe, with Professor Sadie Creese leading a new Cyber Security Centre, and Professor Gavin Lowe);

Verification (leader Professor Marta Kwiatkowska) covering probabilistic and software model checking (Professor Daniel Kroening) with time and concurrency (Professor Joel Ouaknine, Professor James Worrell, and Professors Roscoe and Lowe), and automated verification of hardware (Professor Tom Melham);

Computational Biology (led by Professor David Gavaghan and including Professors Kevin Burrage and Helen Byrne) is one of the world’s leading groups building computational models of biological systems and is particularly well known for its work on the heart;

Foundations, Logic and Structures, (leader, Professor Samson Abramsky) which includes groups working on quantum information and computation (Abramsky and Professor Bob Coecke), game semantics and verification (Professor Luke Ong) and constraints (Professor Peter Jeavons); 

Information Systems (jointly led by Professors Georg Gottlob and Ian Horrocks and including Professor Stephen Pulman, who works on Computational Linguistics, and Professor Michael Benedikt).   In addition the department has  recently recruited Professors Mike Wooldridge (Agent Based Systems) and Elias Koutsoupias (Algorithms).   A realignment of the themes is expected shortly.

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