I am a Professor of Mathematics in the School of Mathematics and Statistics, and currently Head of the School.
I was educated at the University of Bonn in Germany, where I completed a doctorate degree in Physics. After eight years as a post-doctoral researcher in Melbourne, Amsterdam and Chemnitz, I joined the Open University in late 2000.
I have been involved in the production or presentation of several undergraduate and postgraduate modules in Mathematics, and have been tutoring groups on the MSc modules M820 and M840.
My research centres on applications of mathematics in crystallography, physics and biology, and featured in two exhibits at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibitions in 2004 and 2009. I am a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and the Chair of the Commission on Aperiodic Crystals of the International Union of Crystallography.
My main research theme is the theory of aperiodic order, and is concerned with ordered spatial structures and their properties. The investigation of aperiodic structures was motivated by the discovery of quasicrystals in the 1980s (for which Dan Shechtman received the Nobel prize in Chemistry in 2011). A gentle but comprehensive introduction to the topic is given in the monograph Aperiodic Order. Vol. 1: A Mathematical Invitation (Encyclopedia of Mathematics and its Applications 149) by Michael Baake (Bielefeld) and myself, which was published by Cambridge University Press in 2013.
Further research activity concerns application of mathematics, in particular in physics and biology. I am the principal investigator of the Open University part of the BBRSC-funded SysMIC project, which is developing a comprehensive online course in the interdisciplinary skills which are increasingly important to cutting edge biological research.
More details of research activity and output can be found on my personal homepage.
I enjoy teaching and like to be involved in teaching at all levels. I have been involved in the production of MS324, MS325, MST224 and MS327 and in the presentation of various modules in applied and pure mathematics, as well as in physics.
For several years, I have also been tutoring on the Mathematics MSc programme. Currently, I tutor groups on either M820 or M840. In the past, I have also tutored at our residential schools for many years, and at some of the MSc weekend events.
Last but not least, I enjoy working with research students, and I have been supervising full-time and part-time research students on projects related to aperiodic order and mathematical biology.