John M. Ball

Sir John Macleod Ball FRS FRSE (born 19 May 1948) is a British mathematician and former Sedleian Professor of Natural Philosophy at the University of Oxford. He was the President of the International Mathematical Union from 2003–06 and a Fellow of Queen's College, Oxford. He was educated at the University of Cambridge and Sussex University, and prior to taking up his Oxford post was a professor of mathematics at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh.

Sir John Ball
Sir John Macleod Ball
Born (1948-05-19) 19 May 1948[1]
Alma materUniversity of Cambridge
University of Sussex
AwardsWhittaker Prize (1981)
Junior Whitehead Prize (1982)
David Crighton Medal
Sylvester Medal (2009)
King Faisal International Prize (2018)
Scientific career
InstitutionsHeriot-Watt University
University of Oxford
Doctoral advisorDavid Eric Edmunds[2]

Ball's research interests include elasticity, the calculus of variations, and infinite-dimensional dynamical systems. He was knighted in the New Year Honours list for 2006 "for services to Science".[3] He is a member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters[4] and a fellow of the American Mathematical Society.[5]

He was a member of the first Abel Prize Committee in 2002[6] and for the Fields Medal Committee in 1998. From 1996 - 1998 he was president of the London Mathematical Society, and from 2003 - 2006 he was president of the International Mathematical Union, IMU. In October 2011 he was elected on the Executive Board of ICSU for a three-year period starting January 2012. Ball is listed as an ISI highly cited researcher.[7]

Along with Stuart S. Antman he won the Theodore von Kármán Prize in 1999.[8] In 2018 he received the King Faisal International Prize in Mathematics.[9]

Ball received an Honorary Doctorate from Heriot-Watt University in 1998.[10]

He was elected a Fellow of The Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1980.[11]

Personal life

He has three children.[1]


  1. "CV" (PDF). John M. Ball. Retrieved 30 July 2009.
  2. John M. Ball at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  3. "Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood" (PDF). BBC. Retrieved 30 July 2009.
  4. "Gruppe 1: Matematiske fag" (in Norwegian). Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. Archived from the original on 10 November 2013. Retrieved 7 October 2010.
  5. List of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society, retrieved 2012-11-03.
  6. "The Abel Committee 2003/2004".
  7. "Highly Cited Researchers - The Most Influential Scientific Minds". HCR.
  8. Biographical sketch, retrieved 2014-12-20.
  9. "King Faisal Prize".
  10. "Annual Report 1998". Retrieved 4 April 2016.
  11. "Professor Sir John Macleod Ball FRS FRSE - The Royal Society of Edinburgh". The Royal Society of Edinburgh. Retrieved 20 December 2017.

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