University of Oxford
BA (Mathematics and Philosophy)
University of London
BSc (Statistics and Applied Mathematics)
Institute of Statisticians
MIS (Graduate Certificate in Statistics)
British Computer Society
MBCS (Professional Graduate Diploma in
CITP Chartered Information Technology Professional
CEng Chartered Engineer
CStat Chartered Statistician
Academic activities: Mathematics, Statistics, Philosophy, Computing and Linguistics
I taught mathematics at Manchester Grammar School from 1970-2013.
I have given many talks and lectures on mathematics -- in schools, in CPD programmes for teachers, and to trainee teachers.
I have been an examiner for many years. Much of my work was on MEI Mathematics examined by OCR. I am currently involved in a variety of examinations operated by Cambridge International. For many years, until 2017, I worked on the Cambridge University STEP papers.
In the 1970s I took the professional examinations of the Institute of Statisticians, specialising in econometrics and statistical mathematics. At about the same time, I did research at the University of Salford. I developed (but didn't publish) a version of the variable kernel method for estimating probability density functions from data.
The IoS merged with the Royal Statistical Society in 1993. I am now a Fellow of the RSS and a Chartered Statistician.
I have served on RSS Council, and on many committees. I was the Society's Guy Lecturer in 2007-8 and an examiner for the Society's own examinations until they were discontinued in 2017.
From March 2014 to December 2017 I was RSS Vice-President for education and statistical literacy.
I am the current Chair of the Teaching Statistics Trust.
I am a member of the curriculum team for the International Data Science in Schools Project.
My main philosophical interests are the history of philosophy, epistemology, the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of language, the philosophy of mathematics and the philosophy of science.
My MPhil thesis was on the little-noticed parallels between the Neyman-Pearson formulation of statistical inference and Karl Popper's philosophy of science. (Neyman and Pearson developed their approach in the late 1920s and early 1930s, much the same time as Popper was fomulating his theories. Popper confirmed, in a personal communication, that he was unaware of Neyman and Pearson's work at that time.)
I taught philosophy at Manchester Grammar School to A-level and within the International Baccalaureate. I have also taught courses in philosophy in adult education centres.
In the 1970s, I took professional examinations in computing through the British Computer Society (specialising in computer engineering and numerical analysis).
I am a Chartered Information Technology Professional and a Chartered Engineer.
I was the first Head of Computing at Manchester Grammar School. I also taught Computer Systems Architecture at Manchester Polytechnic (now Manchester Metropolitan University). My book, Fundamentals of Computing, was published in 1984.
My current interests include the Linux operating system and open source software, particularly software for mathematics and statistics.
I have a great interest in linguistics, stemming originally from a lifelong fascination with languages and later developed through studying the philosophy of language. In recent years I have taken a variety of MOOCs in linguistics, many of them through the Virtual Linguistics Campus.