She studied at Oxford and Manchester, gaining her PhD in 2000. Postdoctoral research and teaching followed, including a prestigious Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Fellowship, before she was appointed to a lectureship at Birkbeck in 2004. She became Professor of Mathematics there in 2013, and served in various management roles including as Head of Mathematics and Statistics, Assistant Dean, and Programme Director for the MSc Mathematics.
Her academic publications have been mainly in the area of pure mathematics known as group theory, which has many applications both inside and outside of mathematics, for example in coding theory and cryptography. She is actively involved in the British Society for the History of Mathematics, and has served a three-year term as President of the Society from 2021-2023.
Her book Once Upon a Prime: the Wondrous Connections between Mathematics and Literature, was published in 2023, and has been positively reviewed in the press, including The Sunday Times, The Observer, The Economist, The New York Times, The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal.
I had the pleasure of discussing the book with her, some of the talking points include:
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