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Building work nearly finished!

Read the full article for more about the Penrose tiling pattern and the new foyer.

It's been a long year of building work to get our new foyer ready, and we're grateful to all staff and students for their patience during this time. By the end of April we hope to be able to use the foyer entrance to come into the building. The foyer area provides more space for undergraduate students to meet up, discuss work or just relax. The foyer has electrical sockets and network points for use by students.

The yellow, white and grey tiling pattern on the outside of the building is known as a Penrose tiling. This is a tiling of a two-dimensional plane by thin and fat diamonds which shows some local fivefold symmetry. It's different from more standard tilings of the plane, such as by squares or hexagons, because it's irregular and non-periodic: you can't translate it in some direction and exactly repeat the original pattern. The Penrose tiling was investigated in the 1970s by Sir Roger Penrose, an English mathematical physicist who graduated with a first class degree from the University of London (although it was from UCL, not Queen Mary!).

Penrose tilings aren't just abstract. The mathematics behind their construction has applications to materials called quasicrystals, whose properties have been studied by scientists for about the last thirty years. In the four thousand year old history of mathematics, they are relatively young!

We hope that all users of the new building enjoy using the new entrance and foyer area over the months and years to come.