I completed a BSc in Mathematics (1981) and MPhil (1984) at the University of Leeds before embarking upon a career teaching mathematics in the further and higher education sectors. During the early years of my career I completed, part-time, a PhD in Numerical Analysis at the University of Keele under the supervision of Professor Douglas Quinney.
Teaching and the enhancement of the student experience have always been my passions. It was as a Principal Lecturer at De Montfort University, Leicester, in the mid-nineties, that I first became familiar with the concept of a mathematics support centre. When the opportunity arose in 1996 to move to Loughborough University to establish its Mathematics Learning Support Centre I grasped the opportunity wholeheartedly. In 2002 the remit of the support centre was significantly expanded and I became the founding Director of Loughborough’s Mathematics Education Centre, now a leading centre of expertise that has attracted some of the brightest and best mathematics education researchers.
I have had the privilege to work closely with some outstanding colleagues, particularly at Coventry University and the Universities of Birmingham and Leeds. With Professor Duncan Lawson, a collaboration lasting over 25 years, I have been instrumental in establishing, through the sigma Network, mathematics support centres in around 36 UK universities. These centres aim to help students from any discipline achieve their potential – whatever that might be. We believe that through this work we have helped hundreds of thousands of students in the UK and beyond. Duncan and I were recognized for this work by being awarded the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications Gold Medal 2016 for outstanding contribution to the teaching of mathematics, the first time in its history that the Medal was awarded to academics working in mathematics education.
Now, as Emeritus Professor of Mathematics Education, I am still engaged in mathematics, mathematics support and textbook writing and know that I am in the fortunate position of being able to pick and choose work that will interest me until I am finally put out to grass!
- Mathematics support at the transition to university
- Mathematics support of specialist mathematics students
- Member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology
- Author of Foundation Maths, Engineering Mathematics, and Mathematics for Engineers (Pearson Education website)
- Visiting Professor of Mathematics Education, School of Mathematics, Cardiff University
- National Teaching Fellow (2008)
- Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (FIMA) and Chartered Mathematician (C.Math).
- IMA Gold Medal winner 2016 for outstanding contribution to the teaching of mathematics
- Co-editor of Transitions in Undergraduate Mathematics Education, University of Birmingham, 2015, ISBN 978-1-909557-06-2.