Academic qualifications


University of Oxford

   BA (Mathematics and Philosophy)


 University of London

   BSc (Statistics and Applied Mathematics)

   MPhil (Philosophy)


 Institute of Statisticians

   MIS (Graduate Certificate in Statistics)

 British Computer Society 

   MBCS (Professional Graduate Diploma in

               Information Technology)

Professional qualifications

CITP Chartered Information Technology Professional

CEng Chartered Engineer

CStat Chartered Statistician



I taught mathematics at Manchester Grammar School from 1970-2013.

In the 1970s and 1980s, I also taught mathematics, part-time, at the Open University and Manchester Polytechnic (now Manchester Metropolitan University).

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 served as the RSS representative on ALCAB, the Advanced Level Content Advisory Board, which advised government on the revised specifications in mathematics. I continue to serve on the successor committee, ALMAB, the Advanced Level Mathematics Advisory Body.

I am the current Chair of the Teaching Statistics Trust. I was the TST Lecturer in 2019. My lecture, We need to talk about statistics, was given many times. A recording made at the Alan Turing Institute is available here.

I am a member of the curriculum team for the International Data Science in Schools Project.

For many years I have delivered professional development courses in statistics for teachers, initially through the RSS Centre for Statistical Education at Plymouth University and subsequently through MEI.

In 2021 (remotely), 2022 and 2023 (in person) I delivered intensive courses in statistical literacy at Helsinki University. 


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 formulating 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 served on the Royal Society working party looking at computing in the school curriculum. The working party produced the report Shutdown or Restart?


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.

I am Vice-Chair of the UK Linguistics Olympiad and member of CLiE, the Committee for Linguistics in Education. 

I do my best to promote the vital, but often overlooked, role that language plays in mathematics and statistics.