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The MPLS Summer Reception on 5th June featured presentations from Professor Dino Sejdinovic (Department of Statistics), who gave an overview of his research on machine learning (see (, and Dr Nuno Faria (Department of Zoology), who spoke on ‘From Zika to yellow fever virus: Tracing viral outbreaks in real-time’ (see

The Reception also saw the presentation of two sets of awards to MPLS staff.

MPLS Equality and Diversity Awards

This was the first time these awards have been made in MPLS. They were introduced to recognize the work within the division to advance equality, diversity and inclusion, and to celebrate the individuals and teams that have accomplished this work. Each award recipient received £1,000. The awards were presented by Professor Helen Byrne, Divisional Director of Equality and Diversity.

The award for Lifetime Achievement, made to an individual who has shown outstanding dedication, sustained commitment, and effective leadership in advancing equality and diversity, was presented to Prof Dame Frances Kirwan DBE FRS (Mathematics). Throughout her highly distinguished career, Professor Kirwan has worked tirelessly to support the careers of others, and in particular has led initiatives to support the careers of women in mathematics, both within the department and University; and nationally and internationally.

The award for Best Initiative was presented to two people: Professor Daniela Bortoletto (Physics) for spearheading the Conference of Undergraduate Women in Physics, and Dr Clara Barker (Materials) for developing a wide range of activities to support trans staff and students, and raise awareness within the department and MPLS, the wider University and in the local community.

The award for Best Team Effort went to Oxford Women in Computer Science Society  for developing a successful portfolio of academic, industrial and social events together with travel scholarships and collaborative activities with other institutions, all aimed at supporting and promoting women in Computer Science.

MPLS Teaching Awards

These awards have been made for a number of years, and celebrate teaching as a Division. The awards were presented by Professor Martin Williams, Associate Head of Division (Education), who also thanked the many other colleagues who have contributed to the excellence of Oxford's science teaching over the past year.

The five individual award winners were:

Professor Byron Byrne – Engineering Science

Professor  Dan Ciubotaru – Mathematics

Professor Steven Balbus - Physics

Professor Peter Darrah – Plant Sciences

Professor Claire Vallance – Chemistry