Dr Chris Woodcock

Senior Lecturer in Pure Mathematics
Undergraduate Admissions Officer

About

Chris obtained a D. Phil. in Mathematics at the University of Oxford under the supervision of Ian Macdonald and Michael Atiyah. Since 1970 Chris has been first a Lecturer and then a Senior Lecturer in Pure Mathematics here at the University of Kent. He has written research papers on p-adic analysis, formal power series, digital sequences and, more recently, on the action of finite groups on commutative rings and their invariants. Chris is a member of the School's Admissions team.

Research interests

  • Commutative algebra, algebraic geometry and algebraic number theory
  • p-adic analogues of classical functions and their applications in number theory.

One recent area of research, joint with Peter Fleischmann, studies “trace-surjective” actions of a finite group G on a commutative algebra A over a field of positive characteristic.  This has links with many other areas of algebra and geometry, in particular with the “essential dimension” of G.  Here one basic problem is to determine under what circumstances the invariant ring AG is polynomial.

Another direction of research concerns a certain commutative analogue RG of the group ring ZG.  This has applications to invariant theory, the cohomology of finite p-groups and rank varieties.  A fundamental open question here is to what extent the group G can be recovered from RG.

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