I started at Meldrum Primary School, then went on to Meldrum Academy, I went to the University of Glasgow to do a Maths degree & then also did a Masters degree in Software Development
Scottish Standard Grade (GCSE): 8 A*s, Scottish Higher: 5As, Advanced Higher: BCB, BSc Hons Mathematics (2:1), MSc Software Development (Merit)
Swimming Instructor(2 years) > Lifeguard(6 years) > Retail Assistant (3 months) > Data Analytics Consultant (1 year) > Data Analytics Instructor (2 years)
Data Analytics Instructor
Firebrand Training Ltd.
I train people in Data Analytics & Software development
Hello! I grew up in a wee village in North-East Scotland before moving to Glasgow for university, then down to London for work.
I’m a huge lover of food – my current challenge is trying to eat the food from every region of China – and I love traveling to places off the tourist track – I’ve been to Kyrgyzstan, Georgia (the country) & Lebanon in the last two years.
In my spare time, I love to read – I’m currently reading a book whose name I probably shouldn’t type (Mind – swearword) about Cambridge Analytica (a great application of maths/crime), swim – I used to compete, and go to music gigs (rip).
My CV will tell you that I studied Applied Mathematics at Glasgow University, where I wrote a dissertation about modelling liquid crystals. I then did an MSc in Software Development, where my final project modelled internet data & tried to predict whether someone was watching Netflix or not based on their traffic data!
How I Use Maths In My Job:
The core of my job is teaching people how to use maths & stats to analyse data. When I say data, I could really be talking about anything – the amount of ice-cream a company has sold, the flavour, the time of day the sale was made – and this means our can be represented in loads of ways – numbers, sets of unique items, times – I could go on! There is an art to correctly representing data, and maths can help to inform us what that is. We can also use maths to test claims we make based on our data, essentially conducting mini-courtroom examinations using statistics!
When it actually comes to analysing data, maths is essential. Depending on what it is I want to do, I may need to use statistics (to understand my data), probability (to guess how likely an outcome is based on the data I have), or even algebra (to predict an outcome using my data).
All the fancy algorithms you hear about now also have maths behind them, and the things you learn in school can help you understand things like why amazon always know what you want!
I teach people how to analyse data using different tools
The weeks where I’m teaching, I’ll start my class at 8.30 am & it will run all the way until 6 pm, though I stick around to help people until 9pm. The weeks where I don’t teach, I have a meeting with my team at 9am, then usually spend my day writing new courses, updating old ones, or learning new skills until 5pm! I get a whole week off each month because my teaching days are so long.
What I'd do with the prize money
Run some workshops showing how to work with data using a computer
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
Having seen the world of maths & programming, I wanted to do something that combined both. That is basically what Data Science is!
What's your favourite use for maths in everyday life?
I love telling people about the Birthday Paradox
What did you think about Maths when you were in school?
I think I saw it as something I just "got". Now that I know better, I see it as a language.
What did you want to be after you left school?
I was clueless! I didn't know until the end of my masters degree. All I knew is that I wanted to go to university.
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Several times: for talking back at the teacher, falling asleep in English (I got up very early to swim), or once getting Judo flipped in drama
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
Working for an education charity
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Nubya Garcia or Greentea Peng
What's your favourite food?
For all the world food I try, my mum makes a pretty great Lasagne
What is the most fun thing you've done?
A 3 day horse trek in Kyrgyzstan
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
A bonus year to do another masters degree, the ability to teleport to different countries every night for dinner, a 5 bed house in central London