Simon Goodwin

Senior Lecturer in Pure Mathematics, University of Birmingham
PhD in Mathematics (2005) 

The School of Mathematics at the University of Birmingham offers a personal touch through a focus on small group teaching, and our research expertise means that we offer a wide range of interesting courses.

What key research projects are you currently working on?
My research is in an area of pure mathematics called representation theory, which is the mathematics of symmetry, and has important applications in the physical sciences. At present representation theory is a very active and exciting area of research with an interplay of methods from algebra, geometry and combinatorics leading to major breakthroughs. My recent research has focussed on representation theory of a certain type of algebra, called a W-algebra, which is motivated by a variety of areas of mathematics and physics.

What is the best thing about what you are doing now?
I'm really lucky to have a job that I enjoy so much. Grappling with new mathematics is really fun and it feels great when I have really understood it and can prove a new theorem. I also really enjoy lecturing my first year course, which introduces students to some really interesting topics in pure mathematics; it is a real pleasure to share my enthusiasm with the students.

What makes the University of Birmingham stand out to you, against other universities?
The School of Mathematics at the University of Birmingham offers a personal touch through a focus on small group teaching, and our research expertise means that we offer a wide range of interesting courses. We have a friendly mathematics community fostered through dedicated learning spaces for maths students, and social events for students and staff.

What advice would you give to current or prospective students studying within your school?
Make the most of your time at the University of Birmingham. Enjoy your studies, but also get involved in a variety of other activities to enrich your Birmingham experience. Start planning for your future career early, so that you can build up skills to ensure that you secure the future that you want.

What benefit do you feel it has, being located close to Birmingham city centre? 
The campus location is excellent, you'll get the benefit of living in a friendly student community, and you can also enjoy all that the centre of Birmingham has to offer.

What is your favourite thing about the university campus?
All of the green space is great to socialise with friends over lunch or a drink.