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Personal profile

Research interests

Visual representations and their applications in Mathematics and Computer Science, but with developing connections in Engineering and to the Arts. Research areas of (collaborative) research interests include:

  • Topology (e.g. Combinatorial and Computational Knot Theory)
  • Discrete Mathematics (e.g. Algebraic formalisms, Graph Theory, Algorithms)
  • Visual Languages and Interfaces
  • Information and Data Visualization
  • Automated Reasoning
  • Machine Learning
  • Security & Privacy
  • Industrial Informatics
  • Applied Statistics.

Scholarly biography

Since March 2016, I have been a Reader in the School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics at the University of Brighton. Prior to this, I was Principal Research Fellow (PRF) since Feb 2013, Senior RF from Sept 2006, and RF from Sept 2002, with my contract being made permanent in 2007. Between 1996 and 2002, I performed part-time hourly paid lecturing duties in the Mathematics Department of the University of Warwick, UK.

In terms of education, in 1998, I obtained an MMath with class I honours from the University of Warwick and then in 2002 I obtained my PhD in Mathematics (Geometric Topology) from the University of Warwick under the supervision of Professor Colin Rourke. In 2007, I additionally completed an MSc in Software Engineering at the University of Brighton. 

I have published around 100 peer reviewed articles, performed the role of guest editor for several special issues of the Journal of Visual Languages and Computing, and co-edited various proceedings. I have served the wider community via various chairing roles and committee memberships for conferences and workshops (e.g. Program co-chair, with Chris Scaffidi, for IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages & Human-Centric Computing, Melbourne, 2014, and Steering Committee member 2013-2017), and by reviewing for a wide range of journals (e.g. IEEE Transactions in Software Engineering, IEEE Software, Journal of Discrete Mathematics, Journal of Visual Languages and Computing, Studia Logica).  

I am a Member of the UK EPSRC Peer-Review College, a Senior Member of the IEEE, a Senior Fellow of the HEA, and a UKCGE Recognised Research Supervisor.


Approach to teaching

Over the past 20 years I have taught a wide range of Mathematics and Computer Science topics. I am deeply enthusiastic about teaching itself, the topics that I teach, and in facilitating others in their development. I adopt an interactive and reflective style of teaching, commonly asking questions of the participants and adapting according to the responses. To facilitate problem-solving tasks, I tend to ask a series of leading questions which I may have asked myself if I was in their position and trying to solve the problem. I teach through a variety of interactive lectures, workbook-led sessions and tutorials, and on-line resources commonly encouraging independent learning.

Active engagement in research is a driver for the development of research-informed and research-led teaching activities, which can have a substantial personal benefit of sustaining a high level of enthusiasm. I have integrated research into the curriculum, including my own RCUK funded research.

Supervisory Interests

I am interested in supervising across a wide range of areas in Mathematics and Computing, on topics with a visual aspect. For example, areas could be in knot theory (Mathematics), or visual representations, languages, models and interfaces, with application domains such as security and privacy (Computing). I have experience of successful co-supervision across a wide range of areas/disciplines and am a UKCGE Recognised Research Supervisor.

Education/Academic qualification

Master, MSc in Software Engineering, University of Brighton

Sept 2002Sept 2007

Award Date: 1 Sept 2007

PhD, Braid Variants and their Applications, University of Warwick

Oct 1997Jan 2002

Award Date: 1 Jan 2002

Master, Master of Mathematics with Class I Honours, University of Warwick

Oct 1993Jul 1997

Award Date: 15 Jul 1997


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