Geoffrey Grimmett

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Geoffrey Grimmett

Geoffrey Grimmett cropped for small screen use.jpg
Geoffrey Richard Grimmett

(1950-12-20) 20 December 1950 (age 70)[1]
Birmingham, England, UK
EducationKing Edward's School, Birmingham
Alma materUniversity of Oxford (BA, DPhil)
Rosine Bonay
(m. 1986)
ChildrenHugo Grimmett[2]
Scientific career
ThesisRandom Fields and Random Graphs (1974)
Doctoral advisor

Geoffrey Richard Grimmett FRS[6] OLY (born 20 December 1950)[1] is a mathematician known for his work on the mathematics of random systems arising in probability theory[7][8][9] and statistical mechanics, especially percolation theory[10] and the contact process.[11][3] He is the Professor of Mathematical Statistics in the Statistical Laboratory, University of Cambridge, and was the Master of Downing College, Cambridge from 2013 to 2018.[12]


Grimmett was educated at King Edward's School, Birmingham and Merton College, Oxford. He graduated in 1971, and completed his DPhil in 1974[13] under the supervision of John Hammersley and Dominic Welsh.[5]

Career and research[edit]

Grimmett served as the IBM Research Fellow at New College, Oxford from 1974 to 1976 before moving to the University of Bristol.[1][14] He was appointed Professor of Mathematical Statistics at the University of Cambridge in 1992, becoming a fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge.[15] He was Director of the Statistical Laboratory from 1994 to 2000, Head of the Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics (DPMMS) from 2002 to 2007, and is a trustee of the Rollo Davidson Prize.[16]

He served as the managing editor of the journal Probability Theory and Related Fields from 2000 to 2005,[citation needed] and was appointed managing editor of Probability Surveys in 2009.[citation needed]

At a time of flowering of probabilistic methods in all branches of mathematics, Grimmett is one of the broadest probabilists of his generation, and unquestionably a leading figure in the subject on the world scene.[6] He is particularly recognised for his achievements in the rigorous theory of disordered physical systems.[6] Especially influential is his work on and around percolation theory, the contact model for stochastic spatial epidemics, and the random-cluster model, a class that includes the Ising/Potts models of ferromagnetism.[6] His monograph on percolation is a standard work in a core area of probability, and is widely cited.[6] His breadth within probability is emphasized by his important contributions to probabilistic combinatorics and probabilistic number theory.[6]

In October 2013 he was appointed Master of Downing College, Cambridge succeeding Barry Everitt.[2] He ended his term as Master on 30 September 2018, being replaced by Alan Bookbinder.[17]

Awards and honours[edit]

Grimmett was awarded the Rollo Davidson Prize in 1989[citation needed] and elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2014.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Grimmett is the son of Benjamin J Grimmett and Patricia W (Lewis) Grimmett.[18]

He competed at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal as a member of the Great Britain Men's Foil Team, finishing 6th.[19]


  1. ^ a b c d e Anon (2014). "Grimmett, Prof. Geoffrey Richard". Who's Who. (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U18289. (subscription or UK public library membership required) (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b c Professor Geoffrey Grimmett elected as next Master
  3. ^ a b Geoffrey Grimmett publications indexed by Google Scholar Edit this at Wikidata
  4. ^ Grimmett, G. R.; McDiarmid, C. J. H. (2008). "On colouring random graphs". Mathematical Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society. 77 (2): 313. doi:10.1017/S0305004100051124.
  5. ^ a b Geoffrey Grimmett at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Anon (2014). "Professor Geoffrey Grimmett FRS". London: Royal Society. Archived from the original on 11 June 2018. Retrieved 1 May 2014. One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from the website where:

    "All text published under the heading 'Biography' on Fellow profile pages is available under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License." --Royal Society Terms, conditions and policies at the Wayback Machine (archived 2016-11-11)

  7. ^ Grimmett, G. R.; Stirzaker, D. R. (2001). Probability and Random Processes. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0198572220.
  8. ^ Grimmett, G. R. (2010). Probability on Graphs. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521147354.
  9. ^ Aldous, David (2013). "Book Review: Probability on graphs: random processes on graphs and lattices by Geoffrey Grimmett". Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society. 51 (1): 173–175. doi:10.1090/S0273-0979-2013-01428-9. ISSN 0273-0979.
  10. ^ Grimmett, G. (1999). "What is Percolation?". Percolation. Grundlehren der mathematischen Wissenschaften. 321. pp. 1–31. doi:10.1007/978-3-662-03981-6_1. ISBN 978-3-642-08442-3.
  11. ^ "Geoffrey Grimmett's homepage at the University of Cambridge".
  12. ^ Geoffrey Grimmett publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database. (subscription required)
  13. ^ Grimmett, Geoffrey (1974). Random Fields and Random Graphs (DPhil thesis). University of Oxford. OCLC 500458360. EThOS
  14. ^ Frieze, A. M.; Grimmett, G. R. (1985). "The shortest-path problem for graphs with random arc-lengths". Discrete Applied Mathematics. 10: 57–77. doi:10.1016/0166-218X(85)90059-9.
  15. ^ "Fellows of the Colleges: Churchill". Cambridge University Reporter. University of Cambridge. 2 October 2008. Retrieved 7 May 2009.
  16. ^ "Trustees of the Rollo Davidson Trust".
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
  19. ^ "SR/Olympic Sports". Archived from the original on 20 October 2012.
Academic offices
Preceded by
Barry Everitt
Master of Downing College, Cambridge
Succeeded by
Alan Bookbinder

 This article incorporates text available under the CC BY 4.0 license.