Category Archives: teaching

teaching mathematics

Thoughts on topology

As well as Advanced Combinatorics, I have been teaching Topology this semester. This is something I had not taught for many years. I was only teaching half the module: the first half had been given, and the notes prepared, by … Continue reading

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An award

I am delighted to be able to report this. I have been given a Students’ Association Teaching Award by the University of St Andrews for Innovation in Teaching! You can see a report here. Unfortunately, I had to miss the … Continue reading

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Combinatorics in Scotland, group theory in Portugal

I never really wanted to retire. For various reasons which no longer matter, I decided to retire from my position at Queen Mary, University of London, on turning 65 two years ago. I hoped that I would find enough to … Continue reading

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The function of the university

After all the sentiment of recent days, I hope normal service can now be resumed. Here is something interesting. I am not the only person moving out and throwing things away. Last week I came upon a fifty-page booklet which … Continue reading

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This has been a week of farewells from Queen Mary, after 28 years; certainly for me the end of an era. A leaving party First, on Monday, we had a leaving party, for four of us: apart from me there … Continue reading

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Mathematical structures, reprise: testing times

We’re now a bit over halfway through the term in my second presentation of Mathematical Structures to the first-year undergraduates. They have sat the test, and I have finished marking it. Test papers brought, as usual, a crop of responses, … Continue reading

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The word “solutions” is much overused, even misused, now. When I see a van with “Cleaning solutions” on the side, I imagine it full of containers of ammonia or soapy water, while “Printing solutions” can only mean ink … But … Continue reading

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St Andrews 600

Last Tuesday (10 September 2013), Diamond Geezer gave a list of anniversaries which fall this year. One he missed was the 600th anniversary of the University of St Andrews. Over the last couple of days, I have been at the … Continue reading

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Mathematical Structures: the aftermath

The academic year finished off with two rather different events: my LMS–Gresham lecture about the Mathematical Structures course, and marking the approximately 270 scripts. The LMS–Gresham Lecture Last week I gave the annual LMS–Gresham lecture. When they asked me to … Continue reading

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Fear of mathematics, 2

“Letter to my younger self” is a regular feature of the Big Issue, but apparently it is more widely distributed. My new colleague Richard Cormack circulated to the department a link to a rant by the Australian statistician Ron Sandland, … Continue reading

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