Maths Resource Link
General Science Resource
22 - 30
Broad Subject Area/s
HE Curriculum Innovation Advisor - this involves supporting lecturers in improving their teaching of maths at university. I also do some voluntary maths promotion, including mathematical podcasting. Profile: http://peterrowlett.net/about/
Science, Technology, Engineering or Maths
Education and route to your job
I took a mathematics degree at the University of Nottingham. During this I took some optional modules in computer science and liked these. Before I graduated I signed up for an MSc in computing & multimedia at Nottingham Trent University but first there was a four month gap. My tutor at Nottingham was looking to set up an online system to support engineering students taking maths modules and, because I was showing interest in computing and had a background in maths, I worked for him for those few months. This got me interested in university teaching & learning, and after jobs as a web developer for a statistics education project and a time as e-learning officer in mathematics at a university I applied for and got my current job. My interest in promoting maths started with a small piece of work I did consulting on the setup of the http://mathscareers.org.uk website. Later, I took a job with the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications touring universities to talk about careers and popular maths topics. Now I am half of the Math/Maths Podcast at http://pulse-project.org/ and give talks, all in my spare time.
Job route: typical, unusual, or a bit of both?
Day in the Life
There is no typical day. I live in Nottingham but my office is in Birmingham so I work from home some of the time, but my brief covers England and Wales, so on a given day I could be anywhere. I spend a lot of time travelling by train. As I write it is Monday and I am on a train to the office. I have to write a presentation I am giving later this week, I have some meetings to attend and I am visiting the University Conference Park to look at some rooms we might hire later in the year. Tomorrow I will work from home and this will be an admin day, catching up on email and that sort of thing. Plus I have a Skype call to America to record this week’s podcast. On Wednesday I am going to a conference which happens to be near home in Nottingham. I will listen to talks on education topics and I am giving a presentation myself on a piece of research I have been doing. On Thursday I am off to Cardiff, where I am presenting at a conference on some projects we are funding at work. And on Friday I am attending a workshop to learn what students think about their degrees. Is this a typical week? No such thing!
10 - Couldn't be happier
Life outside work
Between my full time job and part time PhD I get one day a week off, usually at the weekend. I spend this with my wife. We enjoy getting out of the city, walking, going to the cinema, or, really, just relaxing at home after a hard week. Apart from this, I'm involved with a monthly 'puzzles in the pub' group called MathsJam which is good fun. Because I spend so much time on public transport I enjoy listening to a lot of podcasts. Mostly comedy, but some science, technology, current affairs, that sort of thing.
My cousin and I graduated university at the same time, and I think we were the first to go to university and get a degree. No one in my family works in maths or in university education so I'm not following in the family footsteps but my parents were always very encouraging.
What attracted you to your career?
Opportunity, I suppose, and work I enjoy and am good at. Mathematics is a brilliant degree to do but a lot of people don't realise that, so it's pleasing to help them explore their options. In the day job, there is plenty of room to try new things in education, particularly with the pace of change of technology, and its exciting to be pushing new ideas.
University of Birmingham
Employer career page
Does your employer support staff with further training or education?
Do you volunteer your Time?
Institute of Mathematics and its Applications
British Society for the History of Mathematics
What type of scientist are you?
Take a maths degree and follow what interests you.