Derek's Home Page
Well, who am I? A 52 year-old Oxford University graduate (Mansfield College: 1979) and a mathematician who also knows something about computers, taxation, writing and endurance sports, in particular cycling and running.
I was a keen runner for over 27 years and took up the sport aged 13, well before the early 1980s boom. I have run several marathons and many ultra marathons including, my favourite, the now defunct South Downs Way 80 trail race (A Long Running Record). I have also cycled the EndtoEnd ride. Due to a debilitating condition Fibromyalgia, CFS, ME, MS, ... (take your pick) my running has been wiped out but, after several years in the wilderness, I am once again able to cycle at a reasonable level.
My interest in mathematics dates back to my earliest memories, from somewhere between ages one and two (I have a good memory, when it's working!) but my knowledge of the subject is mostly self-taught. Unfortunately, school and even Oxford University had only small parts to play.
As for computers, well, I learnt my lesson via a mind-numbing ten years working as a programmer for IBM. Not one to endure a dead-end job and, badly needing to reactivate my brain cells, I quit IBM and took a PhD in mathematics with the University of Southampton, where I lectured for nine years. Great times! But, partly due to the poor state of funding for mathematics in Britain, and my health, these great times did not last.
During my time as a lecturer, for financial reasons, personal interest and a desire to experience the other side of the examination table, I passed some professional taxation papers (ATT).
I also enjoy writing. You might like to read the first chapter of my Sci-Fi novel, Passage to Oblivion, (you're not getting the rest until it's published).
In September 2008 I had Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) surgery to correct my extremely high myopia. Here is my account, Refractive Lens Exchange.
So what am I up to these days? A little private Mathematics, French and Spanish Tuition, helping my wife look after our home and family (My Family), studying foreign languages (my translations of some song lyrics) and generally enjoying life when I can. Oh yes, and searching for a solution to my health woes...
Some of my running exploits
A Long Running Record How I eventually finished the South Downs Way 80 mile trail race.
The Clarendon Way Marathon 1999 Find out how I fared in this interesting off-road marathon.
A Touch of Hypothermia My brush with hypothermia in the 1998 Seven Sisters' Marathon.
Photos See some of the photos I have taken at the RR10 race series in Hampshire.
Some of my cycling exploits
EndtoEnd John O' Groats to Land's End ride. One of my most successful and enjoyable cycle rides.
Some mathematical bits and pieces
Papers A list of my mathematical papers.
Interests A brief summary of my mathematical interests.
Writing: A little bit of fiction
Passage to Oblivion Chapter one of my science fiction novel. Synopsis
Martian Camp A children's story about a scout camp on Mars.
Soapbox: Matters that raise my passions
The able child I believe state education in Britain does not serve the needs of the able child.
Walk to School Are children safer now that they no longer walk to school?
GCSEs and A-Levels are too easy Why I think we should be worried by the continual year-on-year improvements in GCSE and A-Level results.
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