Awarded MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) for services to Education in the 2016 New Year's Honours list.
Watch my TEDx talk - Slum Super Stars - African talented children alleviating poverty
A Lecturer in Education teaching on Secondary and Primary PGCE maths with extensive experience working as an educational advisor to both government and schools.
My research focus is to improve access, choice and quality of schooling in a developing context. Thus I'm currently working with some schools and children in Africa and India regarding gifted and talented children and mathematics teaching.
I was asked to become an advisor on the Russell Group A-Level Content Advisory Body (ALCAB) seeking to advise and inform Ofqual of the views of Russell Group institutions and others within the Higher Education Sector, on the content of A-levels .
I am a Member of the European Mathematical Society (EMS) committee for Raising the Public Awareness of Mathematics in Europe. We organise popularisation activities in europe such as "Mathematics in the streets of Krakow" in July 2012
In my role as a maths publicist (Dr Maths) I write puzzle books and a fortnightly newspaper column to help create greater public interest and understanding of mathematics. I hold the Guinness World Record for the most children learning maths outside the classroom. 1001 children on a Maths Treasure hunt
I am external examiner for the PGCE course at Teesside University.
Editorial board for 'Archimede' Journal for teaching and recreational mathematics (Founded 1902)
I have developed and managed large scale outside maths events (1,000 plus children at each event) such as Maths in the City, Maths in the Malls and Maths on the Beach. The Maths on the Quayside event was held on Thursday 7th and Friday 8th June 2007, with over 2,600 children from 70 schools taking part. More information on these can be found at www.ima.org.uk/activities/education/dr_maths.cfm
I worked for the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM) for five years, developing a strong regional and national infrastructure linking fellow stakeholders in the maths community. This I feel enables teachers to network and progress, as I believe one of the main roles of NCETM is the unification of the maths community.
With NCETM and Learning Outside the Classroom I sourced funds, managed and development the site called Learning Maths Outside the Classroom . The aim of the site is to encourage teachers to think about taking children outside the classroom. The case studies span all phases - early years, primary, secondary and post 16. The site contains forty plus case studies and five professional development modules. The cases studies are in the themed areas; School Grounds, Natural Environment, Places of Worship and Charities, Museums and Art Galleries, Farming and Countryside, Built Environment and Heritage, Sports and Adventurous Activities and Family Learning.
I taught for 21 years in a range of educational establishments: Comprehensive, grammar, private, single sex, 11 to 18, 13 to 18, 4 to 18, sixth form and FE. Exam question writer for OCR.
Current Research 2016
Research to investigate how parental preferences and household characteristics affects school choice for their children. Using discrete choice models (McFadden, 1974) to directly test large household data sets to see whether the parents preferences and demographics affect the choice of attending different school management types (Government, Low-cost Private, Faith Based Mission, Community and NGO schools)
Research into maths learning and teaching in schools catering for low income and poor families in India. Comparative analysis of student outcomes in different school management types.
Utilising both quantitative and qualitative methods to carry out case studies looking for associations between pedagogy, teacher training, teacher ability, children's innate ability and background, to inform policy and practice with regard mathematics educational structures.
ESRC project 2014-2015
Research focusing on high ability students to act as peer monitors in the transfer mathematical knowledge to other children in poor parts of Da Es Salaam.
Watch my TEDx talk - Slum Super Stars - African talented children alleviating poverty
Handbook of International Development and Education edited by P.Dixon, S.Humble & C.Counihan
Events and Conferences:
Article in the New York Times - Crossing the Pool
The Conversation articles - Why '7' is the luckiest number & Pi might look random but it's full of hidden patterns
The Conversation article - How to build a time machine
The Conversation article - The 22 Million digit number and the amazing maths behind primes
My discovery of a new mathematical pattern May 2013 (see article in The New York Times on my research paper Triangle Mysteries ) has created interest around the world to develop new maths to solve the open problems that my pattern uncovers in the area of commutative semigroups and the general characterisation of medial magmas. See for example Yossi Elran. Recreat. Math. 2 (2014), 53-58 & Michael A. Jones et al. Maths Horiz. 23(2015), 22-25
The Collins Blog, Freedom to Teach - A Mathematical Rendezvous
The Collins Blog, Freedom to Teach - 'Coding is back in town'
The Conversation article - 'How to get children to want to do maths outside the classroom'
Number Festival at Newcastle University 27th June to 5th July
The Collins Blog Freedom to Teach - 'The Magical Number Seven'
New York Times 'Number Play' - Steve Humble Neighbour Problem
Slum Super Stars - Alleviating Poverty in Talented Children in Africa
University of Connecticut, Invited speaker by the Neag Center for Creativity, Gifted Education, and Talent Development, Center for Education Policy Analysis and Office of the Dean at the Neag School of Education, and the Office of Global Affairs
Author of the Month Routledge Education
How to be Inventive when Teaching Primary Mathematics Routledge, April 2015
The Collins Blog Freedom to Teach - 'A Number of New Year Resolutions'
The Collins Blog Freedom to Teach - 'Football's a game of two halves'
Guinness World Record Maths Treasure Hunt on the Quayside - 1001 children
Big Bang Science Fair - Practical maths workshops for students (4 years to 21 years), teachers and family groups
Irish Engineering Week - Mathematics Engineering shows throughout Southern Ireland.
Lectures at Edgehill University to trainee teachers
Prince's Teaching Institute weekend teacher CPD days
Workshops - "Catch me if you can" and "The Good (odds, evens, squares), The Bad (Pascal) and The Ugly (Random)"
The Prince's Teaching Institute. Mathematics Teachers Conference
Workshop - "What's Luck got to do with it?"
Irish Maths Week - Maths Shows "What's luck got to do with it?"
Show throughout Ireland. For example shows at INTEL
The Randomness Show at the British Science Festival - patterns, chance and mathematical magic
Schools Out for Summer: Quayside Giant Classroom
Prince's Trust teacher Conference on Proof - Works for all?
FACE teachers conference - Maths on the Farm
Toulouse School children experimenting with my pattern in their playground
Mathematical Association Annual Conference.
Workshop - Emotional mathematics across the curriculum
Maths in the Malls - Primary schools event
Festival of Maths - Newcastle University and LIFE
January 2013 NCETM North East Network meeting - Workshop on Teachers Beliefs
November 2012 Prince's Teaching Institute teacher CPD weekends
October 2012 Irish Maths Week - Maths shows "Secrets, Lies & Maths" throughout Southern and Northern Ireland
11th March. Hidden Secrets from the World of Dr Maths. 100+ family audience
Educational books and materials:
Fortnightly Dr Maths columns in the Evening Chronicle Newspaper, starting in Nov 2004.
Created a logic walk for the London Underground 150 years - The Tube Trail encourages families to find out more about the Underground as they travel through the network of stations, platforms and railways.
I am the author of a number of maths books, my latest puzzle book titles include:
Code Breaker Explorer: Improve mathematical logic skills using the world of secret codes, which holds a fascinating air of mystery, with secret agents trying to discover the enemy’s plans before the enemy discovers theirs. This book takes its inspiration from the secret world of spies and code breaking.
Times Table Explorer: Make learning Times Tables fun by following the 30 Quests in this book – “from exploring rivers, climbing the tallest buildings in the world, trekking across the Gobi Desert, to finding gold in a sunken Spanish galleon”.
Also in the series are Addition Explorer, Subtraction Explorer, Division Explorer, Fraction Riddles and Number Shape Magic.
Maths for every day! 366 primary maths activities for every day of the year. This calendar gives 366 Maths starters for KS1 and KS2. The starters are linked to events from that day in history, including Egyptians, Romans, Tudors, Victorians, WWI, WWII, famous people, special numbers, art, science, poetry, literature and a whole lot more.
Helping to make teaching outside the classroom meaningful, stimulating and challenging
Become a Maths Wizard with Creative Magic Easy to learn and perform. Create your own unique magic tricks. Children and adults will improve their mathematical skills in a friendly and fun way. This book is available for download on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch with iBooks and on your computer with iTunes.
PGCE Secondary Mathematics
PGCE Primary Mathematics
MA (International Development and Education)
EDU8211 Education Policy and Entrepreneurship for Development
EDU8214 International Development: Theory and Practice
EDU8216 Placement Module
EDU8215 Dissertation: International Development and Education