Geoff Smith (mathematician)

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Geoff Smith in 2006

Geoffrey Charles Smith, MBE (born 1953) is a British mathematician. He is Senior Lecturer in Mathematics at the University of Bath (where he works in group theory) and current professor in residence at Wells Cathedral School.

He was educated at Trinity School in Croydon, and attended Keble College, Oxford, the University of Warwick, and the University of Manchester, where he gained a Ph.D. in 1983.[1] His thesis, Zeta functions of torsion-free finitely generated nilpotent groups, was written under the direction of Dan Segal.

Smith was the leader of the United Kingdom team at the International Mathematical Olympiad between 2002 and 2010, a longer continuous period than any other person.[2] Under his leadership, the team achieved an average of 20th place, stronger than under the preceding leader (1999 to 2001, 24th), but weaker than in the previous period of two alternating leaders (1991 to 1998, 11th/12th).[3] He returned to the position as the leader of the British Mathematical Olympiad from 2013.[4] Between 2013 and 2018 the team achieved an average of 13/14th place including three top 10 finishes.[5]

Smith oversaw a quantitative increase in training: annual events in Bath (moving to The Queen's College, Oxford from 2009), at Oundle School, in Hungary, at Trinity College, Cambridge, and immediately prior to the IMO itself.[6] He also thrice won the IMO Golden Microphone, awarded to the national team leader who makes the most speeches to the IMO Jury.[7] In 2010 he was elected to the IMO Advisory Board[8] for a four-year period.[2] Smith was elected as the chair of the International Mathematical Olympiad for the term of 2014-2018[9] and was re-elected in 2018. [10]

Smith also prepared UK teams for the Romanian Masters in Mathematics tournament (which they won in 2008), and for participation as guests at the annual Balkan Mathematical Olympiad.

As well as group theory, he is also interested in Euclidean geometry. He often collaborates with Christopher Bradley and David Monk, and has published several papers on Forum Geometricorum, the online geometry journal.[11]

In June 2011 Smith was awarded an MBE for services to education following his contributions toward organising Royal Institution Maths Masterclasses.[12]


  1. ^ Geoff Smith at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  2. ^ a b "International Mathematical Olympiad 2010 UK leader's report" (PDF).
  3. ^ "International Mathematical Olympiad".
  4. ^ "International Mathematical Olympiad United Kingdom participants 2013".
  5. ^ "International Mathematical Olympiad".
  6. ^ "IMO Squad Training Camps".
  7. ^ "International Mathematical Olympiad Golden Microphone".
  8. ^ "IMO Advisory Board 2011".
  9. ^ "IMO Chair 2014-2018".
  10. ^ "IMO Chair 2018-2022".
  11. ^ "Forum Geometricorum".
  12. ^ "Dr Geoff Smith awarded MBE in Queen's Birthday Honours".

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Imre Leader
UK International Mathematical Olympiad Team Leader
Succeeded by
James Cranch
Preceded by
James Cranch
UK International Mathematical Olympiad Team Leader
Most recent