Cantab Capital Institute for the Mathematics of Information | Turner Kirk Trust


Founded in 2016, the Cantab Capital Institute for the Mathematics of Information is a world-leading research facility hosted at the Faculty of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge. The Institute accommodates research activity on fundamental mathematical problems and methodology for understanding, analysing, processing and simulating data across a range of disciplines and industries, both within the academic space and in business. 

The Problem

Over 90% of the worlds data has been created in the last two years alone. There are endless streams of data created by every person every year – with the average person creating 1.7mb each second. With this rapid growth comes many common challenges faced across various industries and spaces. 

The application of data science touches every industry to some degree, from financial markets to urban planning or healthcare to biology. With the increasing complexity comes a need for an increase in not only how we understand complex data, but how we use and leverage it in a beneficial way for everyone in society. A failure to advance the field of data processing will have far-reaching economic and social consequences for everyone, and represents a missed opportunity to use it to our advantage. 

The advance of data science and finding the answers to the questions big data poses relies heavily on fundamental mathematical research, yet this is one of the most underfunded research spaces in the UK.

The Project

In 2016, the Trusts founders provided a £5 million donation through Cantab Capital to the University of Cambridge to establish the Cantab Capital Institute for the Mathematics of Information (CCIMI). Officially opened in 2016 by Professor Stephen Hawking, the Institute is an interdisciplinary collaboration between the universitys Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics and the Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics. 

The centre, which was funded for a minimum of 5 years, is tasked with addressing some of the world’s biggest data and fundamental mathematics problems. It brings together world-leading academics on information science and mathematics from both within and outside of the university, all with a common goal of advancing the biggest data science questions. 

Since foundation, the Institute has worked on a number of broad projects covering biological transportation networks, intensive care provision and machine learning. CCIMIs activity works across a variety of industry sectors and academic disciplines.

The Impact

Since 2016, CCIMI has played host to a range of researchers from all disciplines within mathematics, growing its research network to over 100, including senior academics within the university, Fellows and affiliate members. Each year since its founding, student cohorts have joined the CCIMI, along with post-doctorate students and research fellows, who have the freedom to research anything that takes their interest within the field of mathematics of information.

Today, the Institute is regarded as one of the leading mathematical research centres in the country and remains at the forefront of developing the mathematicians and mathematical ideas of the future.

CCIMI has launched over 30 independent research projects and has hosted several event series bringing together some of the greatest mathematical minds, including annual conferences. 

The Cantab Capital Institute is led by Carola Bibiane Schönlieb, Professor of Applied Mathematics and Head of the Cambridge Image Analysis. 

  • Key Successes

  • A network of over 100 researchers, academics and students from multiple disciplines across the university 

  • Over 30 independent research projects launched, including 17 currently ongoing 

  • Hosted over 25 industry conferences and academic events

“There is another question, and this is really where this Institute comes into its own: what new mathematical tools do I need to open up new fields of insight? This is the heart of the Cantab Capital Institute: to drive forward the development of insight, and so enrich a multitude of fields of relevance to us all.”
Prof. Stephen Hawking, opening the Institute in 2016

Our impact. Recent programmes funded by the Trust