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Ben Fairbairn

Senior Lecturer in Mathematics

MMath MA (Cantab) PhD (Birmingham)

Hi! Welcome to my website. Thanks for stopping by.


In 2015/16 my main BSc teaching responsibilities are Proof and Structure in Mathematics and one instalment of Problems in Mathematics. I will also be teaching the MSc module Topology. All materials may be found on moodle.


My research is primarily concerned with groups and related matters in combinatorics and occasionally even geometry. A more comprehensive account of who I am, where I've been and what I do can be found here (and in particular my publications and preprints, many of which are also on the arXiv can be found here).

My Erdős number is 2 (Erdős-Cameron-Fairbairn). Since Erdős finally stopped publishing about a decade after he died (well, almost), this is about as low as it can possibly get!

PhD Students

  • Ammad Ahmed (2015- )

  • Emilio Pierro (2012-2015) "Some calculation on the action of groups on surfaces"

I am always happy to supervise more students - if you're interested in working with me, then please get in touch.

Some useful links

Some more amusing and yet not-so-useful links

Some blogs

Some People

Contact details

How to find me physically

My office hours are by appointment in office 754 of the main Malet street building.

Address: Departement of Economics, Mathematics and Statistics, Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HX

How to find me virtually

Typing b.fairbairn and then typing one of those fancy "at signs" before proceeding to type in an appropriate place (I recommend some form of software that is designed to send emails) should get my attention.

Current news

  • Colin Marshall Studentships

    Three Home/EU studentships of up to £12,000 pa full-time or equivalent part-time pro rata fee are available to MSc Economics or MSc Finance with Advanced Pathways applicants.

  • Winton Capital PhD Mathematics Scholarship

    A scholarship, sponsored by Winton Capital, is available to fund a 3.5 year full time PhD in Mathematics.

  • Sir Charles Bean on Brexit

    Sir Charles Bean, former Deputy Governor for Monetary Policy at the Bank of England, discussed issues surrounding the UK referendum on leaving the EU.