Browse/search for people

Professor Oliver Johnson

Professor Oliver Johnson

Professor Oliver Johnson
B.A., Ph.D.(Cantab.)

Professor of Information Theory

Area of research

Information theory, probability and communications

Office Maths Building, Room 3.17
University Walk,
Clifton, Bristol BS8 1TW
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 928 8632


I work on problems at the boundary of probability theory and information theory.

I am interested in the relationship between properties of entropy and limit theorems, such as the Central Limit Theorem and Law of Small Numbers (Poisson convergence). This includes trying to understand relationships between information-theoretic properties such as the Entropy Power Inequality and maximum entropy theorems and probabilistic ideas such as log-Sobolev inequalities and transportation of measure. I have a particular interest in developing discrete analogues of these results.

I also work on more applied problems relating to communications. I have a particular interest in characterizing `best possible' performance of algorithms or communication schemes, using information-theoretic ideas. This includes an interest in interference mitigation schemes such as Interference Alignment, and spectrum sensing as an application of group testing.

PhD Projects

All the topics mentioned above can potentially lead into research projects (with almost no pre-requisites), and I would be happy to discuss them by email with any potential applicant.

My more applied work includes links with Electrical Engineering through the Centre for Doctoral Training in Communications, which welcomes applications from students with a background in mathematical work, and which can fund PhD studentships for UK applicants.


I am Professor of Information Theory, and a member of the Institute for Probability, Analysis and Dynamics and the Institute for Statistical Science. I moved to Bristol in 2006, having been previously Max Newman Fellow of Cambridge University and Clayton Research Fellow of Christ's College Cambridge.

I gained a PhD from the Statistical Laboratory in 1999 (my supervisor was Yuri Suhov, the title was Entropy and Limit Theorems), having been an undergraduate at Queens' College Cambridge.


In 2017-18 I am lecturing the first year unit Probability 1, and jointly lecturing the third year unit Information Theory.

I offer undergraduate projects in a variety of topics, including the Mathematics of Communications.


  • Information theory
  • probability
  • limit theorems
  • group testing
  • communications



School of Mathematics

Statistical Science

Probability, Analysis and Dynamics

Research themes

Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

Edit this profile If you are Professor Oliver Johnson, you can edit this page. Login required.

PDF versionDownload PDF