Stephen is a working class academic and he was the first in his family to attend university. He has worked in higher education for over 30 years as a lecturer, researcher and academic leader. His teaching is research informed and highly interdisciplinary. In 2000, he was instrumental in establishing a new Mathematics curriculum at MMU based on programming, computational modelling and simulation. By the final year, his undergraduate project students are able to reproduce research results from journal papers and a number have even had their own research published.
Since the inception of the MMU Student Union Teaching Awards in 2011, his Mathematics course has been shortlisted as Course of the Year on eight separate occasions winning the award in 2020, 2018 and 2012. Stephen has written seven pedagogical books on programming and computational modelling in Mathematics and this work has been used widely around the world. He has been repeatedly invited to run workshops in China, Malaysia, Singapore and the USA.
Stephen is passionate and committed to widening participation and inspires the next generation of students to study Mathematics at university. At A-Level, Mathematics is the most popular subject in the UK, however Mathematics is one of the least popular subjects in higher education. In 2000, he established a school’s liaison forum, and he has visited over 100 schools and colleges in the North-West of England. He leads a national scheme with the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA), running virtual workshops on “Python for A-Level Mathematics and Beyond”, which helps with the transition to tertiary education. He expertly guides students in the art of programming, empowering them to solve real-world problems and gain a deeper understanding of the mathematics.
He now runs his international workshops on “Python for Scientific Computing and TensorFlow for Artificial Intelligence,” in-house for free at MMU. His course is available to all students and staff and is the most popular third-term course in the university. Teaching students how to program is a great leveller and Stephen provides the tools required to be successful in this technological age and have fun along the way.