I am a member of the Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics at Cambridge University and also a fellow of Trinity College. My main mathematical interests are analysis and combinatorics, with a particular focus on the burgeoning area of arithmetic combinatorics (roughly speaking, the study of a cluster of fascinating and interestingly related problems, some of which are about numbers even if they don’t really count as number theory in the sense in which that term is usually understood). I also have an interest in general questions about mathematics, and how it is discovered and transmitted—hence this blog.

27 Responses to “About”

  1. NeverEndingBooks » Blog Archive » the unbearable lightness ... (2) Says:

    […] Timothy Gowers now has a blog called Gowers’s webblog and will no doubt soon change his default about page… […]

  2. baoanhtranthi Says:

    Mr Gowers , I am a undergrad student going to learn subject Functional Analysis , so I want to know a book it can be trusted , please let me know name of the book you have used , or better , send me file ebook to my email written above

  3. Fariya Says:

    Hey there,
    I hope you are well.

    It’s nice to visit your blog. In fact it’s very good one specialy for students to get benefitted through your expertise. I was just thinking if you are doing it so good through wordpress then why don’t you have website of your own with the specific domain name which is dedicated to you only.
    Let me know if you are interested I can help you.


  4. Emily Says:

    Get Schooled is looking for incredible math teachers and students deserving of recognition. We want to send two outstanding examples of achievement in math education to New York City to ring the New York Stock Exchange bell. The deadline to apply or nominate someone is this Wednesday 4/16/2010. Submissions are simple 250 word write ups!!

    See the Get Schooled site for full details: http://www.getschooled.com/ring-the-bell-contest

  5. Bhupinder Singh Anand Says:

    In your blog page:


    you write that:

    “Checking that the Peano axioms are valid means deducing them from the axioms we have chosen for sets.”

    This appears to suggest that every putative model of ZF is a model of PA. Surely such an assertion is only logically, but not factually, true!

    See Apendix C in:


  6. Maria Says:


    I recently compiled a list of the 25 best Math blogs for college
    students, and I just wanted to let you know that you made the list! It is published online at

    Thanks so much, and if you think your audience would find useful
    information in the list or on the site, please feel free to share the
    link. The blog is just starting up, so we always appreciate a link back
    as we’re trying to increase readership.

    Thanks again, and have a great day!


  7. Phill Says:


    I know this is going to sound dumb of me to ask, but what is the answer to 6/2(1+2)? in my head I though it was 1 and when I did it on a calculator I got one again but someone disagreed & said 9 and then did the same sum on their calculator and got nine.

  8. Blog of the Month- October 2011 | MY DIGITAL NOTEBOOK Says:

    […] Weblog: Blog of the Month for October 2011. Prof. Timothy Gowers (a.k.a. Tim Gowers) is a field medalist and an eminent mathematician. He is a member of the […]

  9. James Wimberley Says:

    Does the title of the blog imply that more than one number theorist called Gowers or Gower is involved? The use of the additional s after a genitive apostrophe following a conventional s termination (Wales, Harrods) is much contested by style mavens. I’m against, myself.

    • gowers Says:

      I never got round to choosing a proper name for this blog, and therefore stuck with the WordPress default, which is “userid’s weblog”. But as it happens, I’m in favour of the additional s.

      I don’t understand the point you’re making about more than one Gower/Gowers. In the system I favour there is no ambiguity:

      1. Gower’s weblog (one Gower).
      2. Gowers’ weblog (two or more Gowers).
      3. Gowers’s weblog (one Gowers).
      4. Gowerses’ weblog (two or more Gowerses).

      So I don’t see any way of reasonably interpreting “Gowers’s weblog” except as the weblog of Gowers.

  10. Another post on Open Access, electronic journals, and those ruddy publishers. Says:

    […] been following this through Gowers’s Weblog, the blog of Cambridge mathematician Timothy Gowers. In a series of posts starting on January 21, […]

  11. Gary Wright Says:

    Hi Mr. Tim Gowers,
    Since you like open source, I thought you might like this.

    The Open Source LENR Project


    Gary Wright

  12. 5 evil publishing companies: part two « LitRoost Says:

    […] Tim Gowers and Tyler Neylon spearheaded the popular boycott of Elsevier, it may have become a common […]

  13. 5 evil publishing companies: part two | LitRoost Says:

    […] Tim Gowers and Tyler Neylon spearheaded the popular boycott of Elsevier, it may have become a common […]

  14. Alshia Says:

    Suppose you are given the opportunity to re-create the mathematics syllabus of public schools in any country you like from ground up. Let’s assume that all your suggestions will be implemented without error.

    What topics will you start with? How will you continue from there?

    From a practical standpoint, most people can run their daily lives only knowing about standardized measurement, zero, positive integers, fractions and decimals, and the basic arithmetic operations (i.e. PEMDAS), along with some basic knowledge on algebraic manipulation.

    To manage their finances (even youngsters have credit card debts these days), people will benefit from learning exponential equations, exponential functions, arithmetic progressions and geometric progressions.

    People with no exposure to scientific and empirical methodology tend to give too much weight to individual testimonies, leading to easy manipulation by others. To mitigate this, we teach them the normal distribution and the descriptive statistics that complement it, then, expose them to uneven distributions.

    Of course, we cannot even begin to teach the normal distribution if people do not know what probability is. So we need to teach people probability before statistics; we’ll start with equal probability and then progress to unequal probability.

    To complement probability and statistics, we need to teach people about qualitative scientific and empirical methods as well. This is not in the arena of mathematics however. We also need to teach people some informal and formal logic to combine knowledge of both quantitative and qualitative methods into a cohesive whole. Again, this should be the subject of a separate course.

    …And that seems to be it. 60-70% of the human population can go on living their lives without ever learning about calculus. Even if they did learn calculus, the way its being taught right now almost guarantees that those who do not do calculus at undergraduate and graduate level is likely to find them inapplicable in their daily lives.

    Now what about the other 30-40%? I suggest we create optional courses that can be taken by 14-17 year olds specifically covering calculus and the other more “pure” area of mathematics like trigonometry and geometry. I also suggest we create exposure courses where students are not required to score an exam; these courses are purely for students who wish to explore the different areas of mathematics so that they may find what they wish to study for the long-term, or simply for the sake of exploration.

    Of course, even when the plan is good, it can be spoiled by politics. People might give students the impression that calculus is THE subject to study in maths, causing most people to take it even after it became optional, simply for the sake of a status indicator.

  15. Will Says:

    Sir Gower’s blog has been mentioned in the list of mathematics blogs here-> http://www.talkora.com/science/List-of-mathematics-blogs_112

  16. Ingrid Tieken Says:

    I should like to get in touch with you in relation to your comment on my blog post on your famous ancestor.

  17. Blog of the Month Awards – October 2011MY DIGITAL NOTEBOOK | MY DIGITAL NOTEBOOK Says:

    […] Weblog: Blog of the Month for October 2011. Prof. Timothy Gowers (a.k.a. Tim Gowers) is a field medalist and an eminent mathematician. He is a member of the […]

  18. Debdeep Says:

    Mr. Gower I am a student of graduate course in Mathematics. I want to know Algebraic Geometry. Help me to suggest a standard book through gmail. However I am a Regular visitor of your blog and it is very helpful for me as a mediocre student of this subject.

  19. otherthingshzle Says:

    I think you taught me at UCL many years ago… I occasionally go back and do a bit of maths. Will enjoy looking through your blog 🙂

  20. Massimo Dacasto Says:

    Can you help me develop my idea concerning game of Hex as described on https://osf.io/yrv4e/ in the spirito of open science?

  21. azizlokhandwala Says:

    May I have your email id because I want to share you my one of the theory.

  22. Abdel Says:

    Hi, I saw your video on Numberphile. Let me just be concise. Have you looked at random colourings of the integers? Lets say we colour integer i black with probability p_i (and white probability 1-p_i) such that the p_i converge to zero as i to \infty. If we then count the number of (black) arithmetic progressions we can show that they are Poisson distributies (law of rare events). Ofcourse this is under certain constrains. If you are intressted be free to contact me :).

  23. Stephen Reilly Says:

    On vous entend parler français sur le site du Collège de France. Comment l’avez-vous appris?

  24. Dacasto Massimo Says:

    Does anyone use a supercomputer to prove my following conjecture about the topological game of Hex? “Hex never ends in a tie (preventing the opponent from creating a winning chain means to create one for your own): artificial intelligence discovers the winning strategy on an arbitrary-sized board by dabbing the opponent near where he has just played.”

  25. Philip Lane Says:

    Dear Prof Gower’s,

    My name is Philip Lane and I read maths at Robinson (89-92). I was a distinctly average student who found 1A analysis very hard and hence when I started my second year steared clear of topics like analysis III like the plague. It was something that always irked, and yes, I was seduced by the the dark side and became a student of damtp. But why?

    Because of covid I have had the opportunity to, at least partially, answer this. I hadn’t read a maths book for many years, bought B. Mendelson and W. Sutherland and with the luxury of time coupled with no examination pressure, started to read. What pleasantly surprised me was I could actually understand the material, but that familiar feeling of uncertainty returned when trying to start the problems. I was back to 1989. But now we have Amazon. I was well aware of Schaum outline books back in the day, but none were on the reading lists and clearly the starred books were the books to buy. I took a punt, one final throw of the dice, and bought S. Lipschutz General Topology. As a book it is ok, but for the average student to see almost trivial questions answered in excruciating detail was a revelation. The clouds had lifted.

    Please, for the average Cambridge maths undergraduate, who finds IA pure hard, and gets put off analysis for life, could you produce that missing link between a typical maths book/lecture notes and the example sheets that is the WORKED example sheet. Easy questions, thoroughly worked out at every step (preferably with numbers) given as a handout. It would have made a huge difference to me.

    Thank you,

    Philip Lane

  26. Geo Proton Says:

    Dear Dr. Gowers,

    What theme do you use for your wordpress blog?

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