I studied Maths at Birmingham, and came first in the first year, second in the second year, and, by a natural progression, third in my finals.
Had mental problems after graduation. Only survived my first job at Marconi Elliott (Rochester) for four months. I stuck to my guns and joined Sperry Gyroscope, Bracknell, in March of 1978.
On 18-month Graduate Training Scheme (approved by EITB), put on Monte Carlo simulation of Mine Hunting Scenario. Totally analysed it statistically, but my predictions didn't seem to match the behaviour. It was only on leaving this part of my training, that they discovered that their random number generators were not coming up with means and standard deviations (spread around the mean) that the manufacturers specified. On finding the true means and standard deviations, my predictions agreed perfectly with the simulated behaviour. They were able to plot definitive graphs of the behaviour, as the parameters varied, and I saved them 1,000s of hours of computer time.
Also spent time at Plymouth with Mk.19 and 23 Gyros, joined the Dartmoor Ramblers and went Mirror dinghy sailing off Drake's Island. Did Drawing Office Practice Training too.
Joined Image Processing Section of R&D, in the early days when you needed a 'framestore' to hold the image (1980). Developed AGC Algorithm, an 'edge-walking bug', a method of confirmation and deconfirmation of 'tracks', which I totally analysed statistically (as a random walk), and produced my 'magnum opus' in 1984 on a method called the S.S.D.A. One hundred pages of Maths, which they didn't understand, slapped a 'Confidential' sticker on, and stuck in a drawer, where it probably remains to today.
Also in 1984 combined two papers on Texture Measures and a Classification Method to produce a Texture Classification Algorithm. Left the Department, and another person took it over, got a 98% success rate from it, and based his whole career on it. On average, that meant, in a 7x7 pixel 'object' on the screen (tiny), on average, it mis-classified about one pixel. It was at least 15 years ahead of its time. Now there is a whole Science of Textures.
Joined the Computer Services Dept. in 1985, learnt structured COBOL programming in record time, and wrote a report-producing suite of batch and on-line programmes (custom design reports on-line) that was regularly producing 150 timed (weekly and monthly) reports a week, which went down to Plymouth, when they closed at Bracknell, and was finally removed from the computer in 1998, eleven years after I had completed it.
Also suite of raw COBOL 'pretty printing' and structure diagram-producing programmes. Got another job with RISL at Kingston and Henley - team 'migration' work (converting programmes from one computer to another) for Provincial and TSB, before finally being made redundant in 1992. In about the same period of my 'career', I did 6-7 long-distance footpaths (including the Coast to Coast and West Highlands Way), The Three Peaks, The Lyke Wake Walk, and 15 half-marathons, some for charity.
Since then I have written over 80 poems, a novel (self-published in 2010) The Hammer of Thor, under my pen-name of 'Martin D Kendall'. A children's fantasy novel about ancient magic to do with the cup-and-ring marked stones on Ilkley Moor, thought to date from 2,500 BC. It's also 'up' on Amazon.), 103 pieces of software (both Acorn and IBM), and three websites in raw HTML.
I spent 20 years over a BBC Basic to Acorn ANSI C Translator, using a Bison (GNU Yacc clone) grammar for BBC Basic, a language that had no formal grammar in mind. My Dad said it was equivalent to writing a programme to translate from pure Glaswegian into Latin. I 'decoded' BBC Basic Files, so I could 'strip them apart' into 'tokens', that I passed to the 'grammar', which gradually strung the programme back into the output C. In the same process I 'decoded' both GW-BASIC and Q Basic Files, and wrote GW-BASIC and Q Basic to BBC Basic Translators.
Also I have 'solved' three Maths problems, I was working on at Birmingham University.