Nira Chamberlain

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Nira Chamberlain
Dr Nira Chamberlain (cropped).jpg
Chamberlain in 2015
Born17 June 1969
Birmingham, England
Alma materLoughborough University

Nira Chamberlain CSci CMath (born 17 June 1969) is a British mathematician based in Birmingham, UK. He is the Principal Consultant at SNC-Lavalin[1] and is the President of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Birmingham,[2] Chamberlain always enjoyed mathematics at school and, despite a lack of encouragement from his teachers, studied a BSc in Mathematics at Coventry Polytechnic, graduating in 1991. He then moved to Loughborough University, where he achieved an MSc in Industrial Mathematical Modelling in 1993.[3] In 2014, he completed a PhD at Portsmouth University, under the supervision of Professor Andrew Osbaldestin entitled "Extension of the gambler's ruin problem played over networks".[4]

Research and career[edit]

Chamberlain has worked all over the world, helping a range of industrial partners with mathematical modelling.[5] He created a mathematical cost capability trade-off for HMS Queen Elizabeth, modelling the lifetime running costs of aircraft carriers versus operating budgets.[6] This use of mathematics in the real world was cited in the Encyclopedia of Mathematics and Society.[7]

In 2012, Chamberlain was involved with the UK STEM Project "Being a Professional Mathematician", where his interview was selected for an iTunes podcast.[8][9] In 2014 he was named by the Science Council as one of the UK's top scientists.[10] Only five mathematicians were selected for this accolade.[11]

He is currently a member of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA), European Mathematical Society, Operational Research Society and London Mathematical Society. He was appointed a Council Member of the IMA in 2009 and again in 2015.[2]

Chamberlain regularly gives public lectures, discussing the significance of mathematics in human achievements and debating its relevance in everyday life.[12][13] In 2016 he ran a one-day workshop at the London International Youth Science Forum, Imperial College London.[14] He was a keynote speaker at the 2017 New Scientist workshop "The Mathematical World".[15] Also the Maxwell Lecture in 2019 with the talk "The Mathematics that can stop an AI apocalypse"[16]. He makes regular appearances in UK media and is a BBC expert voice, as well as a speaker for the UK charity, Speakers for Schools.[17][18]

Dr Chamberlain won the title of "World's Most Interesting Mathematician" by winning the Big Internet Math Off in 2018[19], as voted for by readers of


Chamberlain is of Jamaican parentage, and campaigns for more diversity within the mathematical sciences.[20] He frequently gives talks in UK state schools, through the charity Speakers for Schools.[21][22] His lecture "The Black Heroes of Mathematics" is popular all over the UK and repeated regularly during Black History Month.[23][24] In 2016 he was asked by the Black Cultural Archives to submit his own mathematical biography, parts of which were published in Mathematics Today.[25] In 2017 he was included on Powerlist, an annual publication celebrating diverse role models for young people of African and African Caribbean heritage.[26]


  1. ^ "Dr Nira Chamberlain – Speakers for Schools".
  2. ^ a b "CHAMBERLAIN, Nira Cyril (born 1969), Chief Mathematician, LSC Group, since 2014". Who's Who. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.u281705.
  3. ^ "Chamberlain, Nira | Mathematical Sciences | Loughborough University". Retrieved 2017-11-18.
  4. ^ Chamberlain, Nira. "Extension of the gambler's ruin problem played over networks - Portsmouth Research Portal". Retrieved 2017-11-18.
  5. ^ "'The Professionals' – Mathematics…the poetry of logical ideas!". The Aspiring Professionals Hub. 2015-06-29. Retrieved 2017-11-18.
  6. ^ Chamberlain, Nira; Elliot Pinker (2016). "The Cost Capability Trade Off Model: Forecasting the Optimum Performance within Budgetary Constraints" (PDF). Babcock International. Retrieved 2017-11-18.
  7. ^ Encyclopedia of mathematics and society. Greenwald, Sarah J., Thomley, Jill E. Ipswich, Mass.: Salem Press. 2012. ISBN 978-1587658440. OCLC 746618591.CS1 maint: others (link)
  8. ^ "Being a Professional Mathematician". Retrieved 2017-11-18.
  9. ^ "Being a Professional Mathematician by Tony Mann and Chris Good on Apple Podcasts". Apple Podcasts. Retrieved 2017-11-18.
  10. ^ "2014 list of leading UK practising scientists". The Science Council. Retrieved 2017-11-18.
  11. ^ "Mathematicians in list of UK top 100 scientists". IMA. 2014-01-14. Retrieved 2017-11-18.
  12. ^ "BPML Dr Nira Chamberlain". Retrieved 2017-11-18.
  13. ^ "Dr. Nira Chamberlain CMATH FIMA CSci | Proud to be a Mathematician – The Radio Debate". Retrieved 2017-11-18.
  14. ^ "Dr. Nira Chamberlain CMATH FIMA CSci | London International Youth Science Forum". Retrieved 2017-11-18.
  15. ^ "The World of Mathematical Reality". New Scientist Live 2017. Retrieved 2017-11-18.
  16. ^ "2018-2019".
  17. ^ "Dr Nira Chamberlain – Speakers for Schools". Retrieved 2019-02-28.
  18. ^ "Dr Nira Chamberlain". BBC Academy. 2017-09-14. Retrieved 2017-11-18.
  19. ^ "The Big Internet Math-Off – the end". 2018-08-03.
  20. ^ "Beyond Banneker: Black Mathematicians and the Paths to Excellence | Mathematical Association of America". Retrieved 2017-11-18.
  21. ^ "Dr Nira Chamberlain – Speakers for Schools". Retrieved 2017-11-18.
  22. ^ "Nira Chamberlain, Mathematical Modelling and Data Science - Maths Careers". Maths Careers. Retrieved 2017-11-18.
  23. ^ Sarah (2016-09-30). "You don't need anybody's permission to be a great mathematician". National Museums Liverpool. Retrieved 2017-11-18.
  24. ^ Jamshidi, Sean; Nikoleta Kalaydzhieva; Rafael Prieto Curiel (2017-10-02). "October is Black Mathematician Month". Chalkdust. Retrieved 2017-11-18.
  25. ^ "Raising the Profile of Black Mathematicians". IMA. 2016-04-01. Retrieved 2017-11-18.
  26. ^ "Dr Nira Chamberlain | Powerlist". Retrieved 2017-11-20.